- The Washington Times - Monday, December 28, 2015

The Reverend Al Sharpton called for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to step down because of his poor management of race and policing in his city since the release last month of a video showing a white Chicago police officer firing 16 shots into a black teenager and subsequent officer violence.

 Mr. Emanuel is vacationing in Cuba, while demonstrators are circulating petitions for his resignation, and protesters blocked traffic on the city’s famed shopping district on Michigan Avenue on Christmas Eve chanting “Rahms got to go in 2016!”

“You talk about a crisis on steroids,” Mr. Sharpton said Monday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program. “You are in the middle of a recall vote, they are circulating petitions in Chicago to recall you, the state legislature is going to have to deal with it and you don’t even come back? This is the height of either insensitivity or lack of intelligence or arrogance, or a reasonable combination of all three.

Asked if Mr. Emanuel could continue in his job, Mr. Sharpton replied: “I don’t see how he can continue governing now…now I think he’s gone beyond the point where he can even govern…certainly from where I sit he should [step down] because [the people] have clearly said ‘how do we trust this kind of administration to correct when you have this going so far off track and you’re not even showing up and dealing with it.’”

On Sunday evening, Mr. Emanuel called for changes in police officer training. The order was made the day after a Chicago officer fatally shot Bettie Jones, 55, and Quintonio LeGrier, 19, while answering a call about a domestic disturbance.

“There are serious questions about yesterday’s shootings that must be answered in full by the Independent Police Review Authority’s investigation,” Mr. Emanuel said in the statement. “While their investigation is underway, we must also make real changes within our police department today and it is clear changes are needed to how officers respond to mental health crises.”


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Mr. Emanuel is a former congressman and chief of staff to President Barack Obama. However, since the release of the video in November, he has come under attack for his handling of the city’s police force. This month, the Department of Justice said city would be subject to a federal investigation.

 

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