The shooting of Laquan McDonald has one state lawmaker suggesting it's time for the Chicago Police Department to be "broken up" by putting it under the control of a different entity.
State Rep. LaShawn Ford (D-Chicago) thinks the office of the Cook County Sheriff should have a greater role in policing the city of Chicago, and possibly even "take over" the department.
Ford thinks putting the authority in the sheriff, an elected office, rather than another appointee of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, may help restore trust in law enforcement within the city.
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"That's exactly the point, that it's an elected position and the people would have a say of who's in charge, and that makes a big difference," Ford said. "I just think that what we have now is too much for the mayor to handle, and the mayor has no experience in running a system like the Chicago Police Department, none whatsoever."
Emanuel asked for the resignation of Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy last week, saying public trust in the department's leadership had been "shaken and eroded" after video was released showing 17-year-old McDonald being shot 16 times by a Chicago police officer last year.
Ford says members of the General Assembly are discussing ways to address problems within Chicago police, which beyond having one of its own charged with murder, may soon be subject to an investigation by the civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
"There's no way the Chicago Police Department, regardless of who they bring in, could ever change the culture of that department," Ford said. "It's going to take someone to come in and bust it up and change it and oversee it."
For the time being, the search for McCarthy's replacement has already begun under the usual process, with a police board reviewing candidates before presenting a list of three recommendations to the mayor. When asked if he's looking for an African-American for the position, Emanuel said he wasn't looking for any specific type of candidate.