Chicagoans all over are debating whether the protests surrounding the release of the Laquan Mcdonald tapes are relevant and necessary. The answer, unequivocally, is yes. The real debate is whether the protests should be peaceful – but loud and clear – or not. Again, the answer is that there should be loud, clear and meaningful protests, and not ones merely for the sake of protesting a hollow cause.
Because the City of Chicago and its administration was so successful in burying the videos until after the mayoral election and for a total of 13 months, the shock and contemporaneousness of the event itself and the release of the video was destroyed. For example, Ferguson, Staten Island, Baltimore, Cleveland and South Carolina instances of police misconduct all had videos that were released within hours of the event or at latest days. The public had an opportunity to see those events almost real time which is what made the protests louder, but also, unfortunately, in some instances more violent. The effect of that, however, was of great significance. Bad actors were immediately relieved of duties and terminated. In some instances, chiefs of police were replaced which is what similarly should occur in our city. Superintendent Garry McCarthy has no clue how to communicate with the community without insulting them. Once again, while trying to explain away the horrific acts of Officer Van Dyck he characterized the life of seventeen year old as “tragic”. Really? Because a young life may have been troubled or not perfect yet, that somehow gives us a reason to minimize its value. Tell that to the families of the nearly 500 people murdered in Chicago this year.
McCarthy has to go. The City Council should give him a vote of no confidence and let him flap in the wind until we can all say his tenure as Superintendent was tragic.