Rev. Jackson, others call for broader federal probe
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Not satisfied with Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s support for a U.S. Department of Justice investigation of the Chicago Police Department, a group of ministers and local politicians Friday called for a far broader federal probe.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson, Cook County Commissioners Jesus “Chuy” Garcia and Richard Boykin and others demanded a sweeping investigation that would include the mayor’s office as well as that of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, in the wake of the Laquan McDonald shooting.
“This cover-up began here at City Hall and it began with the state’s attorney,” said Boykin, standing outside City Hall. “Anything less than a full investigation of the mayor himself and what he knew and when did he know it and what he did with that information is unacceptable.”
Boykin’s call came a day after Emanuel said he would welcome a federal probe of the police department. Earlier in the week, Emanuel called the federal civil rights investigation requested by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan “misguided.”
Shortly before the gathering outside City Hall, a separate group gathered outside the mayor’s office and demanded his resignation.
A possible federal probe of the police department comes on the heels the release of a police dashcam video that shows McDonald being shot 16 times. Although Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with his murder, community activists and other leaders have expressed anger at, among other things, how long — 13 months — it took for the video to be made public.
Moments before Boykin and the others marched around City Hall, Jackson said Van Dyke can’t be “the fall guy” in the McDonald case.
“The corruption continues and we want it to end now,” Jackson said. “The federal government must be involved to conduct a thorough investigation with the power to subpoena, and let the facts fall where they may.”
Jackson also called for the immediate release of another CPD dashcam video that allegedly shows police shooting Ronald Johnson III as he is fleeing, according to an attorney for Johnson’s family.
“Why is the Ron Johnson tape still being held?” Jackson said. “He was killed eight days before Laquan was killed. It should have been released 13 months ago.” Jackson.
Emanuel said Thursday that the video will be released next week.
Asked by a reporter if Emanuel should resign, Jackson replied: “Let that be determined ultimately by the investigation.”
Meanwhile, Emanuel was accused Friday of “concealing evidence” and conspiring to cover up the McDonald shooting video until he was safely re-elected by community activists who demanded the mayor’s resignation and prosecution.
About two dozen demonstrators pressed their case outside the mayor’s office on the 46-year anniversary of the infamous raid that saw Chicago Police officers gun down Black Panther leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark at Hampton’s apartment.