The fact that Laquan McDonald was a black teenager with a troubled life is not the point [“Family of teen shot by Chicago cop joins calls for change,” News, Dec. 12]. The fact that the unarmed 17-year-old was fatally shot an incredible 16 times by a white police officer is.
Going deeper, the fact that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s tenure has been heavily controlling, even autocratic and self-serving, might be the biggest reason for this tragedy.
Chicago is on fire again, but not in the same way as the city’s famous blaze in 1871. Emanuel, the White House chief of staff for part of President Barack Obama’s first term, apologized for the death of McDonald at a special meeting of the City Council shortly after police Officer Jason Van Dyke was indicted on a charge of first-degree murder.
The squad car video footage of the deadly incident was reportedly kept under wraps to ensure the mayor’s chances of re-election. Civil rights activists are calling for Emanuel’s resignation, but he is refusing.
So, a simmering status quo continues in Chicago, and another cry for badly needed reform within the police department goes unanswered. Will an acquittal or light sentence for Van Dyke ignite the kind of fire that Chicago hasn’t seen before?
Joe Krupinski, Sea Cliff
Even if Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke were the only “rotten apple” in his department, what does that make his fellow cops, who reportedly gave false information about the apparently unjustified killing of Laquan McDonald? Do we call them blemished?
The dashcam video shows the reality of what actually happened. The only conclusion I can draw is that while cameras don’t lie, cops do.
Richard Siegelman, Plainview