Senate panel approves Rahm Emanuel’s nomination as ambassador to Japan, even as two Democrats vote ‘no’
“Black Lives Matter. Here in the halls of Congress, it is important that we not just speak and believe these words, but put them into action in the decisions we make,” Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) said in a statement opposing the nomination.washingtonpost.com
Chicago police leaders acknowledge missing consent-decree deadlines while promising to speed up reforms
Acknowledging it has lagged behind deadlines set as part of a court-ordered consent decree, the Chicago Police Department said in a report Wednesday it has reworked its process for implementing reforms.chicagotribune.com
Chicago police Superintendent David Brown announces expansion of Civil Rights Unit, shift toward community policing
Chicago police Superintendent David Brown announced Friday morning that the department will focus on community policing by expanding its civil rights unit and adding in several new initiatives.chicagotribune.com
Chicago's police chief announces new community policing plan
Chicago's police superintendent announced Friday that all facets of the department — from patrol officers to executive staff — will be more engaged with the community in an effort to build trust and drive down crime. “Arguably, this will be the most significant commitment of effort, resources and leadership to building trust in Chicago PD's history,” Police Superintendent David Brown told reporters. “This plan that we're rolling out today is the best way to reduce crime in Chicago.”news.yahoo.com
Chicago police critics call for charges in shooting of boy
Viewers reacted with a mix of outrage and grief to newly released bodycam video that shows a Chicago police officer fatally shoot a 13-year-old less than a second after the boy dropped a handgun, turned toward the officer and began raising his hands.
Jurors in ex-officer’s high-profile trial face heavy burden
The huge task for jurors at the trial of Chauvin showed during jury selection as some would-be jurors said they were unnerved by the very thought of being on the panel. A high fence installed around the courthouse for the trial is a daily reminder for jurors of security concerns. Numerous people expressed unease about serving on the panel for Chauvin's trial during the more than two weeks of jury selection. All the Chauvin jurors were asked before being impaneled if they could set aside outside influences and decide the case only on evidence presented at trial. AdAlan Tuerkheimer, a Chicago-based jury consultant, said he believed the Chauvin jurors would become increasingly calm as the trial proceeds and would be able to block out the hubbub.
Diverse jury raises activists' hopes for ex-cop's trial
African Americans bring “an institutional memory of the police” to jury rooms that whites and even other people of color don’t share, he said. AdDerek Chauvin is charged with murder and manslaughter in Floyd's death May 25. When they do, recent history suggests a more diverse jury increases the odds for conviction, although the record is mixed. During questioning for Chauvin's jury, some people in the pool were strikingly direct about how the color of their skin affected their view of Floyd's death. A Black man in his 30s who immigrated to America more than 14 years ago said he talked with his wife about the case.
AP sources: Biden picks Buttigieg as transportation chief
President-elect Joe Biden is expected to pick former South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg to head the transportation department, according to three people familiar with the plans. Biden has compared the 38-year-old Buttigieg to his late son, Beau, saying there's no higher compliment he could pay anyone. The Transportation Department helps oversee the nation’s highway system, planes, trains and mass transit and is poised to play a key role early in the incoming administration. He also wants to immediately mandate mask-wearing on airplanes and public transportation systems to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The once most frequently mentioned early pick to head the Transportation Department, President Barack Obama's former chief of staff and ex-Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, sparked strong pushback from top progressive activists.
Obama reunion? Biden fills Cabinet with former WH leaders
President-elect Joe Biden is nominating former President Barack Obama's White House chief of staff Denis McDonough as secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Increasingly deep into the process of selecting Cabinet members and other senior staff, the incoming Biden administration has a distinctly Obama feel. There's Denis McDonough, former President Barack Obama's chief of staff who Biden announced on Thursday would be nominated as the secretary of veterans affairs. Susan Rice, Obama's former U.N. ambassador and national security adviser, was named the director of Biden's White House Domestic Policy Council. Jeff Zients, who did stints as acting Office of Management and Budget director and a top economic adviser in the Obama White House, will return as Biden’s coronavirus response coordinator.
AP source: Emanuel's Cabinet prospects increasingly unlikely
WASHINGTON – Rahm Emanuel’s chances of landing a top Cabinet post in Joe Biden's administration appear increasingly unlikely after the former Chicago mayor emerged as a source of controversy for the president-elect, who had been considering Emanuel for transportation secretary, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. Al Sharpton raised similar concerns during a meeting with Biden and other civil rights leaders, the person said. The person was not authorized to publicly discuss private deliberations and spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity. An announcement on transportation secretary is not believed to be imminent. Two other high profile Obama-era alumni were announced Thursday as joining the Biden administration — Denis McDonough as veterans' affairs secretary and Susan Rice to head the Domestic Policy Council.
AP sources: Biden to pick Katherine Tai as top trade envoy
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)WASHINGTON – President-elect Joe Biden is set to nominate Katherine Tai to be the top U.S. trade envoy, according to two people familiar with his plans. Biden's selection of Tai, who is Asian American, reflects his promise to choose a diverse Cabinet that reflects the makeup of the country. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Tai earlier oversaw China trade enforcement for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, setting U.S. strategy in trade disputes with China. Biden’s trade representative will inherit a trade war with China, put on pause by an interim trade pact in January that left many of the hardest issues unresolved and U.S. taxes remaining on $360 billion in Chinese imports. As the top trade staffer at Ways and Means, Tai handled negotiations last year with the Trump administration over a revamped North American trade deal.
Joe Biden weighs Rahm Emanuel for transportation secretary
CHICAGO – President-elect Joe Biden is considering former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a substantial and somewhat divisive figure in Democratic Party politics, to serve as his transportation secretary. Progressive leaders, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, have been especially vocal in criticizing the prospect of Emanuel joining the Cabinet. “The administration needs people like Rahm who know how to get things done.”Some of the city’s Black elected officials are also vouching for him. Emanuel said he did not see the grisly video until it was set to be made public in November 2015. During his time as mayor, Chicago saw $11 billion in airfield, terminal and infrastructure investments at the city's airports.
Chicago considers changes to emergency mental-health response as recent police cases highlight the issue
“CPD’s documentation of these incidents is often insufficient to determine whether the force was necessary, appropriate, or lawful,” reads a 2017 report from the U.S. Department of Justice that investigated the Chicago Police Department in the wake of the shooting of teenager Laquan McDonald. "Consequently, all we know are the broad contours of terribly sad events — that officers used force against people in crisis who needed help.”chicagotribune.com
Absent details, police shooting narratives seek to distract
Authorities have been reluctant to release even the most basic information about the incident or details about the white officer who shot Blake seven times in the back. They shot my son seven times seven times, like he didnt matter, Blakes father, Jacob Blake Sr., said. In 2014, for example, a union spokesman rushed to the scene where a white Chicago officer fatally shot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. As for the shooting itself, authorities, citing the need to protect the integrity of the investigation, have raised far more questions than they've answered. Instead, he said a knife was found after the shooting on the drivers side floorboard of the SUV.
Lack of body cameras fuels suspicion in Chicago shooting
Authorities have said they found a gun at the scene, but they acknowledge that the officers who shot him were not wearing cameras. After Allen was shot on Sunday, activists immediately seized on the news that the officers were not wearing body cameras. These details are uncorroborated, partially because CPD also claims there is no body camera footage available for this interaction, the group said. Questions about the lack of body cameras extend beyond activist groups. Chicago police have also used body camera footage to show that officers acted properly, possibly heading off the kind of rampage that unfolded this week.
Police contracts can stand in the way of accountability
A police officer engages with a protester Wednesday, July 1, 2020, in Seattle, where streets had been blocked off in an area demonstrators had occupied for weeks. Seattle police showed up in force earlier in the day at the "occupied" protest zone, tore down demonstrators' tents and used bicycles to herd the protesters after the mayor ordered the area cleared following two fatal shootings in less than two weeks. The "Capitol Hill Occupied Protest" zone was set up near downtown following the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Police contracts can stand in the way of accountability
Collective bargaining agreements for officers provide protections that stand in the way of accountability, even when the federal government is overseeing an agency through a consent decree, experts said. Contracts designed to ensure officers receive fair wages and benefits have spilled over into public policy. These examples bolster the hypothesis that some union contract provisions may impede effective investigations of police misconduct and shield problematic officers from discipline, Rushin said. The city entered into a settlement agreement, or consent decree, the following year and passed an accountability measure for additional oversight. One Seattle officer who benefited from the union contract in recent years was Cynthia Whitlach.
The Latest: Warren won't prosecute peaceful protesters
Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren, right, speaks during a news conference Monday, June 15, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. Warren announced his decision not to prosecute dozens of protesters arrested on charges of unlawful assembly during a Black Lives Matter march on June 2. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)TOP OF THE HOUR: Florida state attorney won't prosecute peaceful protesters. State Attorney Andrew Warren in Tampa said that his office wont be filing charges against 67 protesters who were arrested two weeks ago in downtown Tampa. The prosecutors office will also work to expunge the arrest records of the protesters who were taken into custody, he said. In these unlawful assembly cases, there is no value in filing charges, Warren said at a news conference.
Video evidence increasingly disproves police narratives
Cellphone video showed him pleading for air as other officers stood by and bystanders urged the police to help him. The department realized the statement was inaccurate hours later when the bystander video surfaced, and immediately requested an FBI investigation, he said. But more than a year later, video was released showing that McDonald was veering away when he was shot by officer Jason Van Dyke, who was later convicted of second-degree murder. False public statements made by police departments and their leaders are more of a political issue" than a legal one, he said. The availability of video and a fast-moving news cycle accelerated by social media have put extra pressure on police department public information officers.
Protesters invoke different names to decry police treatment
In Tulsa, Oklahoma, people gathered in a spot where white mobs killed hundreds of blacks a century ago and chanted the name of Terence Crutcher. Terence Crutcher was fatally shot in 2016 by a white police officer, Betty Shelby, who was later acquitted of manslaughter. The shooting remains under investigation, and Ramos' mom, Brenda Ramos, questioned why the officer who shot him hasn't been arrested or at least suspended. Now I am in this terrible heartbreaking club," Ramos' mom, Brenda Ramos, told reporters over the weekend. Andrew Cuomo posted a slide with the names of many black men killed or abused by police in cities around the nation.
Report: 16 officers participated in Laquan McDonald cover-up
Van Dyke was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison in January following his conviction of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm. Van Dyke fired seconds after arriving on scene and took 15 seconds to fire 16 shots. Van Dyke continued to fire, unloading every round from his 9-mm Smith & Wesson handgun. They included police claims that McDonald pointed his knife at Van Dyke, who was forced to backpedal and fired to stop an imminent threat. The deputy chief also falsely said in Van Dyke's tactical response report that McDonald "continued to approach" the officer.
Chicago releases watchdog probe of Laquan McDonald shooting
Mayor Lori Lightfoot has promised to "shine a light" on police misconduct and voiced concerns that withholding the Inspector General's office reports "only generates mistrust." The City Council unanimously passed an ordinance last month overruling city laws that required the law department to keep the Inspector General's office reports confidential. Furthermore, the Chicago Tribune wrote stories after obtaining thousands of pages of the Inspector General's office reports when they were still confidential, highlighting how high-ranking members of the department determined the shooting was justified after watching the video. The report concluded that the Inspector General's office would have recommended his firing, had he not retired in 2016. The union said inspector general's investigations are often a "political witch hunt of our members."chicagotribune.com
Police overseers fire 4 officers in McDonald-related case
The Chicago Police Board on Thursday fired four police officers for allegedly covering up a white officer's 2014 fatal shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald . Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson in 2016 accused the officers of either giving or approving knowingly false statements. A Cook County judge acquitted three other officers in January of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and official misconduct charges in the case. Prosecutors said they lied to shield Van Dyke from prosecution. Illinois' Supreme Court denied a bid by the state's attorney general and a special prosecutor to resentence Van Dyke.chicagotribune.com
4 Chicago cops fired over alleged coverup of Laquan McDonald's deadly shooting
Chicago -- The Chicago Police Board on Thursday fired four police officers for allegedly covering up a white officer's 2014 fatal shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald. The nine-member board found the officers exaggerated the threat posed by the 17-year-old McDonald to justify his shooting by Jason Van Dyke. Franko was accused of approving false police reports that McDonald attempted to stab Van Dyke and another officer and had in fact injured Van Dyke. Illinois' Supreme Court denied a bid by the state's attorney general and a special prosecutor to resentence Van Dyke. Absent a new sentence and with credit for good behavior, Van Dyke will likely serve around three years of his nearly seven year sentence.cbsnews.com
4 Chicago officers fired over cover up' in Laquan McDonald shooting
Four Chicago police officers have been fired for covering up the 2014 fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald, a black teenager, the Chicago Police Board said Thursday. Stephen Franko, Officer Janet Mondragon, Officer Daphne Sebastian and Officer Ricardo Viramontes to be "discharged from the Chicago Police Department." "Indeed, taken on their face, the officers' accounts depict a scene in which Mr. McDonald was the aggressor and Officer Van Dyke the victima depiction squarely contradicted by reality. Police initially said McDonald lunged toward officers with a knife, prompting Van Dyke to open fire six seconds after getting out of his squad car. Last year, Van Dyke was convicted of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery.
Protestors storm downtown Chicago demanding mayor's resignation
Not satisfied with a police officer's indictment in the fatal shooting of teenager Laquan McDonald or the resignation of Police Supertintendent Gary McCarthy, Chicago protestors turned their focus to Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Dean Reynolds reports from Chicago.cbsnews.com
Can Chicago police regain trust?
Chicago is on edge after police shot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald to death. A group of retired police officers is challenging Mayor Rahm Emanuel, asking if he's truly doing all he can to repair trust in the community. Civil rights attorney Ashleigh Merchant joins CBSN with legal analysis.cbsnews.com
Illinois AG asks DOJ to investigate Chicago police
The Illinois attorney general is asking the Justice Department to investigate the Chicago police department. Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy was forced to resign Tuesday following the release of a dash cam video showing black teenager Laquan McDonald being shot 16 times by a white officer. The officer is being charged with murder. Dean Reynolds reports.cbsnews.com
Angry protests after video of Chicago officer shooting teen released
Demonstrators organized rallies and blocked traffic Tuesday night in mostly-peaceful protests over video showing the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Dashcam video from last year shows officer Jason Van Dyke shooting the teen 16 times. Dyke is being held without bail and faces first-degree murder charges. Dean Reynolds reports.cbsnews.com