Amid tensions following newly released information about the 2014 killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by Chicago police, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced the creation of a task force on police accountability. The five-member team will examine the police department’s procedures when it comes to holding officers accountable for their actions.
“The shooting of Laquan McDonald requires more than just words," Emanuel said during his speech. "It requires that we act; that we take more concrete steps to prevent such abuses in the future, secure the safety and the rights of all Chicagoans, and build stronger bonds of trust between our police and the communities they're sworn to serve."
Chicago has been at the forefront of police brutality conversations ever since a city judge made the decision last week to release footage from the shooting of McDonald. Dash cam video shows the teen, who reportedly had a knife, walking away from police when Officer Jason Van Dyke shoots him repeatedly. Autopsy reports show that he was shot 16 times, including twice in the back.
The task force—which consists of city Inspector General Joseph Ferguson, former Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau, former federal prosecutor Sergio Acosta, University of Chicago Law School professor Randolph Stone and Chicago Police Board President Lori Lightfoot—will have four months to compile a list of proposed departmental changes, which they will then present to Emanuel and the city council.
The announcement of the task force came just minutes after Emanuel called for the resignation of the city’s police chief, superintendent Garry McCarthy.
Van Dyke was charged with murder and arrested on November 23. He posted 10 percent of his $1.5 million bond yesterday.