Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has fired city police supt. Garry McCarthy, the Sun-Times reported Tuesday, amid protests over the police killing of a black teenager.
Chicago police released video late last month of a white police officer fatally shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times in October 2014. The Sun-Times also reported Emanuel was under pressure to axe McCarthy after the gang killing of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee in early November.
McCarthy had told reporters just days earlier the mayor had his “back.” He was “shellshocked” by Emanuel asking for his resignation, the Sun-Times reported. He had led the department since May 2011.
In a late morning news conference to announce a six-member special police accountability task force, Emanuel said McCarthy had become a “distraction” from police rebuilding trust with the community.
“He has become an issue, rather than dealing with the issue,” the Chicago mayor said. Police officers are only effective if they are trusted by all Chicagoans, whoever they are and wherever they live.”
Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke, the officer charged with McDonald’s murder, had 18 civil complaints filed against him over his use of force, but was never disciplined by the department.
Protesters had for weeks called for McCarthy’s removal over his handling of McDonald’s death.
This story has been updated.