During a heated, 30-minute press conference at City Hall on Dec.1, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that he had asked for the resignation of Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy.
McCarthy's firing comes in the wake of ongoing protests and allegations of a cover-up by both the Chicago Police Department, Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez and Emanuel concerning the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by police officer Jason Van Dyke in October of last year.
After praising McCarthy's over four-year tenure, Emanuel said "Superintendent McCarthy knows that a police officer is only effective when he has the trust of those he serves."
Emanuel noted that such trust in the CPD's leadership has been "shaken and eroded."
Deputy Superintendent John Escalante will serve the post during a search for McCarthy's replacement.
Emanuel also announced the appointment of a five-member task force "to do a top to bottom review of the system of oversight and accountability, training and transparency that is currently in place for Chicago police officers."
The multi-racial task force includes City of Chicago Inspector General Joseph M. Ferguson, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP Partner, Sergio E. Acosta, Mayer Brown partner Lori E. Lightfoot, University of Chicago Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project Director Randolph N. Stone and former Illinois State Police director Hiram Grau.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick will act as senior advisor to the task force.
"They will actively engage community leaders, victims' rights, law enforcement, youth, religious and elected leaders to ensure the recommendations are based on the input from all parts of the city and all perspectives as it relates to criminal justice," Emanuel said.
He noted that the appointment of the task force was not a political decision, however regarding the handling of the death of McDonald, Emanuel admitted "I'm responsible, I don't shirk that responsibility, I have taken certain steps prior to this day, I'm taking steps today. This is not the end of the problem, it's the beginning of the solution towards the problem."