Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel bites his lip as he listens to a question from a reporter during a press conference on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015, to announce that he has dismissed Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and is creating a task force on police accountability in the wake of the high-profile shooting that led to an officer being charged with first-degree murder in the death of a black teen shot 16 times.

Anthony Souffle/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images

The Chicago Mayor admits the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was in part his responsibility.

Lauren Porter
Dec, 09, 2015

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has issued a public apology to the Chicago City Council and the people of Chicago this afternoon.

Emanuel accepted full responsibility on behalf of the Chicago Police Department for the shooting death of Laquan McDonald, the Chicago Tribune reported.

"I own it," he said. " I take responsibility for what happened, because it happened on my watch and if we're going to fix it, I want you to understand that it's my responsibility."

Second Video in Laquan McDonald Shooting Death Vanished

In November, a judge ordered for video to be released showing Officer Jason Van Dyke shooing McDonald 16 times. Van Dyke has since been suspended by the department, charged with first-degree murder and is currently out on a $1.5 million bail. Emanuel called for the resignation of Police Chief Superintendent Garry McCarthy last week. The Justice Department has launched a federal investigation into the actions and conduct of the department.

The Mayor addressed the aldermen with hopes that his apology is the first step in a long process of healing for the community.

"Everyday we held on to the video contributed to the public's distrust and that needs to change," he added.

Protestors gathered outside the City Council meeting calling for the Mayor's resignation over the matter. During his 40-minute speech, Emanuel did not address any intentions on vacating his position.