This post originally appeared on AddictingInfo.org.
New e-mails obtained by media outlets show that there was coordination between the Chicago Police Department, the Independent Police Review Board, and the Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office over video footage that shows Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke shoot Laquan McDonald 16 times.
Chicago activists and others have hammered the Rahm administration over the delayed release of the video. McDonald was shot to death in October, 2014. Yet, the video of the shooting was not released until November 24, 2015. McDonald was killed by the Chicago Police Department during Chicago’s mayoral election. Releasing the video would have been put the Emanuel under national scrutiny. This has led many to believe that the Mayor’s office and the CPD were working in a collaborative effort to delay the release of the video to avoid being hurt politically.
In one e-mail, attorney Jeffrey J. Neslund explained to city lawyers that the video is going to be very bad for the city.
“I submit the graphic dash cam video will have a powerful impact on any jury and the Chicago community as a whole. This case will undoubtedly bring a microscope of national attention to the shooting itself as well as the city’s pattern, practice and procedures in rubber-stamping fatal police shootings of African Americans as ‘justified.'”
Critics of Emanuel and major media publications have called for Rahm Emanuel to resign.
The Associated Press reports that the e-mails that were released shows that Emanuel’s aids were well aware that releasing the video would be politically explosive. One e-mail in late July even showed that Emanuel’s aids were concerned that people that people were beginning to view the case as a cover up.
“As you might imagine, the timing and details discussed in the Sun-Times article and growing interest in the McDonald incident has not worked in our favor, and is helping to ‘stir the pot,'” Emanuel aide Vance Henry wrote.
In another e-mail, Henry wrote in October, saying that officials would be “smart to act timely and strategically” in reference to McDonald’s death and another case where a Chicago police officer killed a 22-year-old woman named Rekia Boyd.
These e-mails will not help the Mayor’s office convince people that the delay of the video was not politically motivated.
This alleged cover up is not the only “sin” that is “catching up to” Emanuel, as Rick Perlstein describes “The Sudden But Well-Deserved Fall of Rahm Emanuel” in The New Yorker. Emanuel’s political career has been defined by his war against teachers, privatization schemes, and his efforts to make the Democratic Party unrecognizable from the Republican Party by fighting against “liberal theology,” as he describes it.
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