Rahm Emanuel

Mayor Emanuel Seeks to Relax Standards to Become Chicago Police Officer

Chicago Rahm Emanuel;  Photo: Jim Young/Reuters

Chicago Rahm Emanuel; Photo: Jim Young/Reuters

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has opened the door to relaxing hiring standards for the Chicago police department in an effort to inspire greater hiring among minority communities. 

Among the ideas is to allow individuals with minor drug or criminal offenses in their backgrounds to apply for and be considered for employment as Chicago police officers. 

Mayor Emanuel said, "I want to take a look at the general idea that, if somebody did something when they were 16 or 17, that doesn’t become an entire impossibility, as long as it’s not serious, to joining a police department."

Read more about this story HERE.

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DOJ Set to Investigate Chicago Police Department

Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

The Chicago police department will be under the scrutiny of the Department of Justice amid allegations of excessive force, Attorney General Loretta Lynch stated on Monday.

The DOJ will look into whether the department suffers from endemic problems of corruption, excessive force, and it will further assess the department’s racial composition and internal accountability. 

Hundreds of demonstrators have been protesting the shooting death of Laquan McDonald at the hands of a Chicago police officer last year. The officer involved, Jason Van Dyke, was charged with first-degree murder only hours before a judge ordered the video of the shooting released. 

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel released a statement on the prospect of a DOJ inquiry. “Our mutual goal is to create a stronger, better Police Department that keeps the community safe while respecting the civil rights of every Chicagoan. Nothing is more important to me than the safety and well-being of our residents and ensuring that the men and women of our Police Department have the tools, resources and training they need to be effective crime fighters, stay safe and build community trust,” the statement read.

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McCarthy Out as Chicago Police Superintendent

Photo: Chicago Police Department

Photo: Chicago Police Department

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has asked for the resignation of Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy.

Mayor Emanuel asked for McCarthy's resignation in the wake of public unrest over the shooting death of 17-year old Laquan McDonald last year.

Widespread protests have gripped the city since murder charges were brought against the officer involved in the McDonald shooting. 

Mayor Emanuel praised McCarthy for his leadership over the tenure of his service as police superintendent; however, he called for "fresh eyes and new leadership" at the Chicago police department.

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Hundreds Gather in Chicago to Demand Police Accountability

Photo: Abel Uribe - Chicago Tribune

Photo: Abel Uribe - Chicago Tribune

Hundreds of protestors crowded Michigan Avenue, the commercial center of Chicago, during the busiest shopping time of the year on Friday.

The protestors had gathered to demand more accountability from the Chicago Police Department and elected officials in the wake of the controversial police shooting of 17-year old Laquan McDonald in 2014. 

Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder just hours before a judge ordered the release of dash-cam footage of the McDonald shooting. Van Dyke is seen shooting McDonald sixteen times in the video and many have questioned why it took over one-year to charge the officer.

The protests remained largely peaceful and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel praised police for their professionalism. 

"We can bolster and respect the voices of the passionate and peaceful protesters, and recognize how important it is for us to move forward together toward solutions," Mayor Emanuel said.

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Chicago Mayor Blames Increase in Violence on Anxious Police Force

Rahm Emanuel, mayor of the nation's third largest city, blamed an uptick in crime throughout Chicago on police officers' second-guessing themselves before taking enforcement actions.

Emanuel said the city's police force had become "fetal" over fear that any controversial action they take will result in their being accused of criminal conduct.

Chicago has seen a spike in violent crime in 2015 that has coincided with the nationwide rhetorical assault on law enforcement and a spate of protests led by activist groups angered by what they perceive as unfair policing practices.

In September alone, Chicago experienced 60 homicides; the highest one-month total since 2002.

"We have allowed our Police Department to get fetal, and it is having a direct consequence. They have pulled back from the ability to interdict … they don't want to be a news story themselves, they don't want their career ended early, and it's having an impact," said Emanuel while addressing a group of mayors and police officials in Washington, D.C. 

The vilification of law enforcement has had an extraordinary effect on proactive policing. Americans in Support of Law Enforcement President Scott G. Erickson discussed the phenomenon in a recent op-ed, which can be read HERE.

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