Black leaders call for Supt. McCarthy to resign

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The Rev. Jesse Jackson and other black leaders on Wednesday called for Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy to resign over the Laquan McDonald shooting. | Maudlyne Ihejirika/Sun-Times

Accusing the city of Chicago and Cook County state’s attorney’s office of perpetrating a cover-up in the police-involved killing of Laquan McDonald, black community leaders Wednesday called for the resignation of police Supt. Garry McCarthy and a special prosecutor to take the case away from Anita Alvarez.

They also announced a massive Black Friday demonstration at 11 a.m. on the Magnificent Mile, where they will lead a protest from Wacker Drive to the Water Tower. Others have announced a downtown protest at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“We come together today because we are concerned about what has happened in our city,” the Rev. James Meeks said at a Rainbow PUSH news conference where young and elder community activists and clergy stood shoulder to shoulder with business leaders and elected officials from City Council, Cook County, Illinois legislature and U.S. Congress.

The cross-section of the black community was summoned by the Rev. Jesse Jackson for a closed-door meeting in the wake of Tuesday’s release of the video showing a white officer shooting the teen 16 times.

Out of that came a five-point plan that targets McCarthy and Alvarez, who they hope to unseat in the March election through a planned citywide voter registration drive.

“Our city is in a state of crisis. We have endured injustice for too long, and those wrongs must now be righted,” U.S. Rep. Danny Davis said.

“We have outlined a process and steps to be taken: A new superintendent of police. A special prosecutor to make sure justice is done. And a massive involvement and participation of people beginning Friday but not ending Friday.”

The plan also targets Mayor Rahm Emanuel as the black leaders are seeking a Justice Department investigation into whether the video was suppressed to help him win re-election.

“Thirteen months ago, a young man was killed. Why did it take so long to make public the tape? What happened to the Burger King video? Why did those who knew about it decide to withhold it from the public?” Jackson asked. “The suppression of the tape was manipulated by somebody at the expense of others. We want a criminal investigation.”

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