The video quickly drew national outrage, leading to the firing of the police superintendent and calls for Emanuel’s resignation since the shooting happened over a year ago but charges were only now being brought against an officer. Emanuel, a former aide to President Barack Obama, fought to keep the video hidden from the public and has dismissed calls for his resignation. He is coming back from his family vacation in Cuba Tuesday to a very tense city.
The department is now the subject of a federal investigation.
Cook County’s chief prosecutor Anita Alvarez admits the timing of the charges against the officer involved were to make the shooting less of a scandal. They want to at least be able to point to the charges to quell outrage after people saw the video.
Chicago is already running on a questionable reputation. A Guardian investigation exposed in February that Chicago police have what amounts to a domestic black site where they allegedly torture detainees who they often hold illegally and keep from their lawyers.
A Department of Justice investigation does not guarantee any criminal convictions or disciplinary action. The DOJ investigated the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., but didn’t bring any charges against officer Darren Wilson. The DOJ did find racist police practices in the department, though, and forced it into a series of corrective steps.
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