Update: My post was written before word of top-cop McCarthy’s firing by the Mayor.
Rahm and Chicago top-cop Garry McCarthy held their press conference just before the court-ordered release of the video tape showing the brutal murder of Laquan McDonald by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke.
Since then the Mayor has been in hiding.
Rahm’s political coalition is in free fall, at least for the time being.
The non-violent, direct action in the streets that followed the release of the tape is having a major economic impact.
The Chicago Tribune reports that sales on Black Friday on North Michigan Avenue were off by as much as 50% because of the blockade of retail stores by protesters along the “Magnificent Mile.”
The protests continue this week.
— NAACP (@NAACP) November 30, 2015
Former allies of the Mayor are deserting him. Calls for the resignations of both State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and police superintendent Garry McCarthy are growing louder.
The demand that Alvarez resign has been joined by the city council’s Hispanic Caucus. This may doom her re-election chances even if she hangs on until the March primary. She is being challenged by progressive African American Kim Foxx.
County Commissioner Chuy Garcia has also called for Alvarez to resign.
County Board President Toni Preckwinkle told the Mayor she wants McCarthy gone.
The Chicago Sun-Times, which has always offered Rahm editorial support, is demanding McCarthy’s head.
Questions have surfaced about the missing 86 minutes of a Burger King surveillance tape. Local reporter Carol Marin has raised major questions about the missing part of the tape.
After the shooting, according to Jay Darshane, the District Manager for Burger King, four to five police officers wearing blue and white shirts entered the restaurant and asked to view the video and were given the password to the equipment. Three hours later they left, he said.
The next day, when an investigator from the Independent Police Review Authority asked to view the security footage, it was discovered that 86 minutes of the video were missing.
In a statement, a spokesman for the IPRA said: “We have no credible evidence at this time that would cause us to believe CPD purged or erased any surveillance video.”
But according to Darshane, both the cameras and video recorder were all on and working properly the night of the shooting.
“We had no idea they were going to sit there and delete files,” Darshane said. “I mean we were just trying to help the police officers.”
The purging of the incriminating 86 minutes is just one more piece of the cover-up.
It has been over a year since Laquan McDonald was shot sixteen times by Van Dyke. It is known that the Mayor fought the release of the video for political reasons while he was in the midst of a re-election campaign.
What may be more significant is in the wake of the killing of Laquan McDonald the long history of brutality towards African Americans and other people of color by the Chicago Police Department going back decades is coming out.
Not just Jason Van Dyke. Not even just the infamous torturer, Jon Burge.
The “one-bad-apple” theory is under assault by the facts.
Half a billion dollars has been paid by the city in police abuse settlements over the past ten years.
That happens to be the dollar amount of the largest-ever property tax hike proposed by the Mayor and passed by the City Council last month.
Last night members of the Sun-Times and Tribune editorial board, Mary Mitchell and Bruce Dold, discussed the cover-up and history of police brutality on public television’s Chicago Tonight.
To add to the Mayor’s problems, teachers have scheduled a strike vote for December 9th.
Friday, Rahm flies to Paris.
But his political crisis isn’t going anywhere.