Protests as Chicago mayor apologizes for police shooting

Protests as Chicago mayor apologizes for police shooting

Protesters hit the streets of Chicago on Wednesday demanding the resignation of the city's mayor after he apologized & took responsibility for the fatal police shooting of a black teenager.

Rahm Emanuel's comments were an attempt to calm tensions that flared in the city after the recent release of graphic dashcam video of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald being shot 16 times by a white officer.

The October 2014 incident has led to a federal civil-rights probe into the Chicago police department's use of force & sparked calls for Emanuel to step down.

"What happened on October 20, 2014 should never have happened. Supervision & leadership in the police department & the oversight agencies that were in place failed. And that needs to change," Emanuel told a City Council meeting.

"I am the mayor… I own it. 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 it's my responsibility with you," he added.

"But if we're moreover going to commence the healing process, the first step in that journey is my step. And I'm sorry."

The apology, however, was not enough to quell anger on the streets, with protesters converging on the city's downtown to demand Emanuel's resignation as well as more accountability & transparency.

CNN showed images of protesters staging a sit-in, blocking traffic, while others were seen marching in the city's shopping district amid a heavy police presence.

Emanuel fired police chief Garry McCarthy last week in the wake of the video's release, saying public trust in McCarthy's leadership had been "shaken & eroded."

The policeman who pulled the trigger, Jason Van Dyke, has been charged with murder.

A Democrat, Emanuel has been mayor of Chicago — President Barack Obama's hometown — since 2011.

Police tactics & racism have been the subject of an intense national debate since protests erupted in Ferguson, Missouri in summer 2014 over the shooting death of another black teen, 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Source: “AFP”