Sneed: Is police chief’s job in jeopardy?

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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, left, and Police Supt. Garry McCarthy appear at a news conference Tuesday announcing first-degree murder charges against police officer Jason Van Dyke in the death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. | AP photo

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The police blotter . . .

Questions. Questions.

Hmmm. Will African-American blowback over the public release of a racially charged video showing a white cop shooting a black teenager topple the city’s top cop?

Hmmm. Will the shocking 2014 dashcam video showing Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke pumping 16 bullets into the body of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald result in Police Supt. Garry McCarthy, known as the “Bronx Bulldog,” being replaced?

  • The backshot: The mayor recently pledged his troth to McCarthy, respected head of the prestigious International Association of Chiefs of Police, despite calls for McCarthy’s dismissal by a group of black aldermen.

Although Mayor Rahm Emanuel told a press conference at City Hall on Tuesday, “We need to create bridges, not barriers. . . . We have a great deal of work ahead of us as a city,” his critics are wondering if McCarthy can be a “bridge” or is a “barrier” to rebuilding a police culture riddled with racial overtones.

Whispers wafting through City Hall corridors are wondering if the next steady wheel at the CPD helm will be an African-American or Latino who grew up in Chicago.

Sneed hears three names are being mentioned as possible replacements.

  • Deputy Police Chief Eric Washington, a highly decorated 28-year-veteran of the police force—who was the former commander of the 11th District tapped earlier this year by Rahm and McCarthy as the first Deputy Chief of Community Policing.
  • Deputy Police Chief Eugene Williams, the CPD’s Bureau of Support Services head, who has a lot of support among the South Side’s black ministers. He turns 63 next year and would mandatorily have to retire at 65, but could transition into the job as a civilian like Chicago’s legendary former top cop O.W. Wilson.
  • First Deputy Police Supt.John J. Escalante, the former top-notch Chief of the Bureau of Detectives, who is described as a great street cop and a great superintendent—respected by his troops and command staff. A master at tough assignments.


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Lee’s way . . .

Click. Cluck. Movie director Spike “Chi-Raq” Lee is passing up no opportunity to promote his controversial film.

  • Translation: He passed out “Chi-Raq” hats to people lining up at St. Sabina Catholic Church last week to receive free birds on turkey day.
  • Sneed is told Spike’s film premiere in New York on Dec. 1 will include a “March for Peace” in Manhattan to end violence.

A mayoral memo . . .

Sneed hears Mayor Emanuel and wifeAmywill be hosting the annual Emanuel Thanksgiving Day feast this year for 20 family members (including brothers, Ari and Zeke) flying in from all over the country. Who’s in the kitchen? Amy.

The Syrian story . . .

Pull up a chair. A special Thanksgiving luncheon for 92 Syrian refugees fleeing the nightmare of war will soon be on the table.

Yum. Hosted by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Ald. Ed Burke (14th), the feast welcoming 90 Syrians to Chicago—is now set for late afternoon Wednesday at an Islamic institution. A roomful of sports gear will be passed out to the 45 children at the event donated by the Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, Blackhawks and Bulls.

The food is being donated by Pete’s Market on the South Side, which is preparing the food Arabic (Halal) style.”

A beloved Beth . . .

It was just too, too at the who’s who 40th birthday bash for Harry Caray’s uber popular PR maven Beth Heller Friday night when 200 guests showed up at the Chicago Sports Museum including: Richard Dent, Bobby Hull, Dutchie Caray, Marion Brooks, John Rogers, Les Coney, Yusef Jackson, Larry Wert, Roe Conn, Susanna Negovan, Eric Ferguson, Amy Jacobson . . .and Grant DePorter. Natch.

Sneedlings . . .

A belated condolence to former Gov. Pat Quinn, on the death of his beloved mother Eileen, who died at the age of 98. She was a century of progress. No mother had a more adoring son. Today’s birthdays: Christina Applegate, 44; Donovan McNabb, 39, and Ben Stein, 71.

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