Just days after the Department of Justice announced a civil-rights investigation into the Chicago Police Department, Chicagoans are calling for the resignation of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. On Wednesday, Emanuel offered a public apology to Chicago aldermen for the police shooting of Laquan McDonald "that happened on my watch." "If we're going to fix it, I want you to understand it's my responsibility with you," Emanuel said in a rare speech to the full Chicago City Council, according to the Chicago Tribune. "But if we're also going to begin the healing process, the first step in that journey is my step, and I'm sorry." His apology was met with protests. Hundreds of people staged a citywide walkout, demanding an investigation of the mayor's administration as well as his resignation. They chanted, "Justice," "How many shots? Sixteen shots," "Who's got to go? Rahm's got to go," and "No more killer cops."
Jason Van Dyke, a white Chicago police officer, was charged with first-degree murder for shooting and killing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in October 2014. Van Dyke was released on bail last week. Dashcam footage from the event shows Van Dyke shooting McDonald reportedly 16 times as McDonald appeared to be walking away from the officer. Previously, Emanuel refused to make the dashcam video of the incident public, even going to court to prevent its release, according to The New York Times. When the video was finally released to the public, Chicago protesters marched down Michigan Avenue chanting, "Sixteen shots." They did the same on Wednesday.
NBC Chicago reports that protesters gathered at Daley Plaza at noon and started marching on North Dearborn Street. At one point, an estimated 200 demonstrators gathered outside the mayor's chambers at City Hall. CBS Chicago reports that among those protesting at City Hall was the family of Phillip Coleman, an Black man who died while in police custody in 2012. It's disappointing," Bishop Tavis Grant, a spokesman for Coleman's family, told NBC Chicago. "There was not a real apology," he said of the mayor's earlier speech. "It's not enough. We're going to see protests lead to unrest unless we see constructive change that leads to justice." Last week, Emanuel dismissed his police superintendent. But for Chicagoans, it appears to be too little, too late.