Rahm Emanuel. Now he’s angry. Photo: Facebook
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has criticized the decision of Cook County prosecutors who dropped all charges against Empire actor Jussie Smollett stating their reversal—from the grand jury indictment—amounted to a “whitewash of justice.”
Smollett is alleged to have staged a racist and homophohic assault against himself, which is reprehensible. The charges seemed credible. Even then, Mayor Emanuel’s selective outrage is utterly disingenuous and contemptible. One Black man beats the “ham sandwich” grand jury charges against him—in this White American “justice” system—and now unprincipled politicians like Emanuel want to talk about unfairness? Wasn’t the soft sentence given to cold-blooded killer-cop Jason Van Dyke last January a “whitewash of justice”? Less than seven years for murdering Laquan McDonald.
Is Emanuel joking when he gallingly asks, “Where’s the accountability in the system?”
Laquan McDonald’s family—and many Black Chicagoans have been asking for decades about the lack of accountability among many Chicago Police who use their badges as cover to get away with brutalizing and killing Black people. Has Emanuel fought to give these Black families any accountability? Mayor Emanuel is a supreme hypocrite to be talking here about a “whitewash of justice.”
On Tuesday, Cook County prosecutors dropped all 16 charges against Empire actor Smollett, 36, who had been charged with staging a hate attack upon himself last January 29. Smollett became a suspect after two Nigerian brothers allegedly told police Smollett paid them $3,500—and promised to pay $500 later to stage the action.
Mayor Emanuel reacted angrily to the news that charges were dropped. He said the reversal was “a whitewash of justice and sends a clear message that if you’re in a position of influence and power, you’ll get treated one way, other people will be treated another way. There is no accountability in the system. It is wrong, full stop.”
Newsflash to Mayor Emanuel: this is the speech you should’ve made last January 18 after the sentencing of Van Dyke to 6.75 years for the cold-blooded murder of Laquan McDonald. The 17-year-old McDonald was shot in the back as he walked away from Van Dyke and other officers on October 20, 2014. Van Dyke fired 16 shots at McDonald. Nine shots hit McDonald in the back; most as he lay on the ground.
For summary execution of another human being a police officer gets less than seven years? Newly elected Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul tried to reverse Judge Vincent Gaughan’s unjust sentence. Recently, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld this travesty of justice.
So Mayor Emanuel’s pretentious proclamations should be denounced by Black Americans and all people of goodwill. Even Smollett is guilty of the alleged staging, here’s another important point: the actions in this case didn’t leave anyone dead. The murderous actions of the back-shooter killer-cop Van Dyke did. Yet Emanuel didn’t seem as outraged by Van Dyke’s sentencing.
After Van Dyke’s sentencing, the best Emanuel and police superintendent Eddie Johnson could come up with in a joint statement was, “While a jury and judge have rendered their decisions, all of us who love Chicago and call this city home must continue to work together, listen to each other, and repair relationships that will make Chicago safer and stronger for generations to come.”
So it is the height of hypocrisy for Mayor Emanuel to be talking about the “whitewash of justice” and asking about “accountability.” If his intention is to spin the conversation away from the murder of McDonald, The Black Star News will go through the details again to refresh his memory.
Chicago Police suppressed tape of McDonald’s murder—for 13 months. Officials close to Emanuel were apparently afraid it would hurt Emanuel’s reelection chances. Four months after McDonald was murdered, Emanuel was reelected, to a second term, on February 24, 2015. The video we’ve all seen of McDonald’s murder was not released until freelance journalist Brandon Smith filed a lawsuit against the City of Chicago in Cook County Circuit Court. This forced then Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to tell Chicago Police officials to release that video. However, it should be noted that, reportedly, other suppressed Chicago Police videos of McDonald’s murder are said to exist.
We know that other Chicago Police officers assisted Van Dyke in covering-up his vicious murder. Chicago Inspector General Joseph Ferguson recommended that 10 officers be fired for their actions in burying evidence against Van Dyke. However, only three officers were charged in this case: officer Thomas Gaffney, former officer Joseph Walsh, and former detective David March. All three faced charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and official misconduct. All were acquitted last January 17. These cops utilized the bench-trial option, which New Yorkers are also familiar with. The New York Police Department (NYPD) officers involved in killing Sean Bell were also acquitted by Judge Arthur Cooperman.
Now let’s remember a few things regarding how the Blue Wall worked to protect Van Dyke. In the aftermath of McDonald’s murder a manager from a nearby Burger King facility accused Chicago Police of erasing portions of a seized security video tape. The erased portions presumably correspond to the captured moments of the deadly encounter. Besides evidence tampering Chicago Police also apparently engaged in witness tampering too.
In the McDonald case two witnesses, Jose and Xavier Torres, say they were chased away from the murder scene by Chicago police. Another witness, Alma Benitez, alleged in a lawsuit that police pressured her to change her story about what she saw. Reportedly, they even lied to her claiming they had video to back-up their bogus claims.
Police chief Johnson says justice wasn’t served in the Smollett case and that the “city is still owed an apology.” That may be true; however, Chicagoans deserve a bigger apology for the murder of McDonald by Van Dyke, the coverup, bogus sentencing, and lack of outrage by Mayor Emanuel after the sentencing.