Members of the LGBT Caucus of the Chicago City Council each issued statements weighing in on the resignation of Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy on Dec. 1.
Ald. James Cappleman ( 46th Ward ) said in an email to Windy City Times, "We must restore the trust between the Chicago Police Department and the residents of Chicago. Replacing Supt. Garry McCarthy is the first of many steps needed to restore that trust. I join my colleagues in the City Council in calling for a Subject Matter Hearing on these recent events."
Ald. Raymond Lopez ( 15th ), who had been critical of McCarthy, did not return a request for comment by press time, but he had released a Dec. 1 statement with explicit proposals, among them thorough reviews of general police orders, training procedures, post-shooting follow-ups, equipment functionality, CPD crime reporting and statistics and Independent Police Review Authority ( IPRA ) investigative policies and timelines. He also called for funding for body cameras, a mandated six-month investigative structure for IPRA, the permanent reinstatement the Force Policy Analysis Panel and a requirement of quarterly reports to the Committee on Public Safety.
"Resignations are not enough," Lopez said. "Short-term decisions are not enough. We need long-term solutions to long-standing inequities felt in our communities."
Ald. Deb Mell ( 33rd ) said in a statement, "On Monday, Mayor Emanuel announced the resignation of Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, the appointment of interim Superintendent John Escalante, and the creation of a Task Force on Police Accountability. I support these positive first steps, but I also know that much more needs to be done to heal the damaged relationship between the CPD and the citizens of Chicago. Additional measures must be taken to identify and remedy systemic problems so that we, as a city, do not face similar situations in the future.
"To that end, I believe the circumstances behind the death of Laquan McDonald absolutely warrant a federal investigation into the workings of the Chicago Police Department."
Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa ( 35th ) said in a statement emailed to Windy City Times, "After 400 days of closed door conversations at Mayor Emanuel's office on Laquan McDonald's murder, Mayor Emanuel now asks Chicagoans to wait 122 days for recommendations from his appointed task force. Chicago doesn't need more closed door meetings, we need an independent investigation, and a transparent and inclusive conversation on police accountability reform.
"The resignation of Superintendent Garry McCarthy was a step in the right direction, but the Council must now work to hold hearings on police accountability and support an independent investigation that will give us a full account of what appears to be an official cover up of Laquan McDonald's murder."
Ald. Tom Tunney ( 44th ), in a statement, said, "The City Council approved a settlement between the McDonald family and the City last April, but were not shown the video prior to this decision. As your Alderman, I am committed, along with my fellow Council members, to finding better ways to prevent such tragedies from happening in the future. We must all remember that the vast majority of Chicago police officers are dedicated to serving and protecting our wonderful city and act appropriately. I have the utmost respect for the men and women who put their lives on the line to keep us safe.
"I want to thank Superintendent Garry McCarthy for his last four and a half years of service and dedication. I look forward to forming a strong working relationship with Interim Superintendent, John Escalante as we continue to improve safety in our neighborhood. Safety is, and has always been, my top priority for our Lakeview neighborhood.