connectVideoChicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel calls decision to drop against Jussi Smollett a ‘whitewash of justice
CHICAGO — Mayor Rahm Emanuel blasted his city’s treatment of the “Empire” actor Jussi Smollett the case of this week, the call of the surprise deal made by prosecutors as a “whitewash of justice” that sends a “clear signal” that those in power are treated differently — but now some are to push back and say that his comments about accountability are downright hypocritical.
“To hear Mayor Rahm Emanuel to call the officers of justice, that the decision to accept an alternative solution to the Smollett case a “whitewash of justice” in a city with a police and prosecuting in history as chequered as that of us was not only wrong, but also fundamentally ridiculous,” opinion writer Mikki Kendall wrote. “Or someone’s personal opinion on the question whether Smollett told the whole truth, a part of the truth or an outright lie when he reported being attacked, there is no reality in which the Mayor of Chicago, or the head of the Chicago police force, and the moral authority to stand in judgment of one’s morality.”
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Emanuel had several television temper tantrums this week – for a national audience – after the brokered deal was announced.
“Mr. Smollett is still saying that he is innocent, still along the Chicago Police Department,… how dare him,” Emanuel said. “How dare him after everybody saw it. Is there no decency in this man?
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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, right, and the Superintendent of the Chicago Police Eddie Johnson, center, appears at a press conference Tuesday, March 26, 2019, after prosecutors abruptly dropped all charges against the “Empire” actor Jussi Smollett. (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford)
Chicagoans say Emanuel might want to look in the mirror.
“It would be refreshing if, during Emanuel’s last day in office, the mayor could have shown the people what it looks like for a leader to respond gracefully when things don’t go exactly the way he thinks they should,” Chicago Tribune, columnist Dahleen Glanton wrote. “But instead of doing it with dignity, Emanuel went on a fiery rampage, fueling the fire of anger and pull us further apart.”
Eight years ago, when Emanuel, the former President of the usa, Barack Obama’s foul-mouthed chief of staff was elected mayor, he promised to cut down on crime and corruption and the much needed adult in the room to run America’s third largest city. But the numbers have not supported his promise. Since taking office in 2011, there are already more than 20,000 recordings in Chicago. According to the Chicago Police department, the average number of murders per year in the first years of the Emanuel administration was 541. The average number of murders per year before Emanuel took office was 463.
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Emanuel is the promise of the cleaning of the streets when he took the office also has a shortage of expectations.
“Chicago is still known as the murder capital of America,” Dick Simpson, professor and director of undergraduate studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, told Fox News in September. “(Emanuel) has tried hard to deal with the problem, but has not been successful.”
Emanuel also faced with the harsh criticism about his handling of race relations and its response to violent crime. He was accused of in favor of Chicago’s wealthier north and east, while ignoring the crime-ridden, poverty-stricken areas to the south and west of the city.
Emanuel’s administration was also on the receiving end of a devastating 2017 Ministry of Justice report which found that the Chicago police routinely used excessive force, violated civil rights and had racial prejudice against blacks.
But nothing comes close to his failed treatment and during the day try in the death of Laquan McDonald, a black teenager who was fatally shot 16 times by a white police officer Jason Van Dijk. Grainy dash cam video of McDonald writhing in pain on the ground after being shot.
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Emanuel’s team of city lawyers fought against the release of the video for more than a year until a judge in 2015 ordered to be made public. Many activists and leaders of the community accused Emanuel of trying to cover-up the incident, causing the already fragile relationship between the mayor and the community in decline.
When it was finally released, the video sparked outrage and led to large-scale protests and calls to gut the Police in Chicago.
Jamie Dominguez, a professor of political science at Northwestern University, has said: “[The] collection of these problems is greatly soured its relationship with a core constituency of fundamental importance to his electoral success: the black community.”
In 2017, Black Life, as well as a handful of other groups, sued the city after Emanuel backed out of a pledge to a federal judge to oversee the reforms.
“Chicago has proven time and again that it is not capable of ending his own regime of terror, violence and discriminatory policing,” the lawsuit said. “Absent federal court supervision, nothing will improve.”
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Emanuel also has taken heat for looking the other way when it comes to crime in some parts of the city. The majority of Chicago shootings take place in the centre of the south and west sides – areas characterized not only by a deterioration of the neighborhoods, but also a lack of a fast, efficient emergency care.
And so it was a head scratcher for some of this week at Emanuel made passionate pleas about the need for transparency in the Smollett saga as well as his comment about the reason why that was bad for the city to provide rich, well-connected people a special treatment.