Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel insists that he didn't cover up the police dash cam video in an effort to not damage his chances for reelection.
Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel continues to deny rumors and accusations that he personally had a hand in covering up the police dash cam video of the murder of Laquan McDonald. In October of last year, 17-year-old black teenager Laquan McDonald died after he was shot 16 times by white Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke. The police dash cam video of the incident wasn’t released until Nov. 24 of this year and it led to huge demonstrations on the streets of America’s third largest city.
Emanuel has been accused of covering up the existence of the dash cam video of the murder because he was running for another term as Chicago’s mayor and didn’t want such a thing to harm his chances at getting re-elected, reports The Huffington Post. Emanuel wrote a letter to the editorial page of the Chicago Tribune stating, “what I strongly reject is the suggestion that the videotape of the McDonald shooting was withheld from the public because of the election.”
The video remained unseen and unreleased until a judge ordered it to be released on Nov. 19. The video made it to the public on Nov. 24 which was also the same day that Van Dyke was relieved of his duties, arrested, and charged with first degree murder in the McDonald shooting.
Prior to becoming the mayor of Chicago, Emanuel served as White House Chief of Staff to President Obama. Emanuel said he never looked at the video because he didn’t want to interfere with an ongoing investigation. He also stated that it was standard practice for such evidence to be held back from the public until any ongoing investigation by the police had been finished.
Emanuel also vigorously denied that a cover up existed when the city made an immediate $5 million settlement with the family of Laquan McDonald. He said that the city was merely complying with a request by the McDonald family that the civil matter be rectified quickly.