Protesters call for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to step down

By Amy R. Connolly  |  Updated Dec. 9, 2015 at 2:46 PM
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CHICAGO, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Thousands of protesters flooded the streets Wednesday calling for the resignation of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who apologized for the circumstances surrounding the death of Laquan McDonald, a black teen shot 16 times by a white police officer.

Demonstrators chanted, "Whose city? Our city," "Who's got to go? Rahm's got to go," and "No more killer cops." Two protesters were briefly detained as several gathered around a vehicle.

"This is bigger than a police shooting," one demonstrator announced to the crowd at Daley Plaza. "There's a culture of corruption that exists in Chicago."

Emanuel said local residents, police and other officials "need a painful and honest reckoning in what went wrong" in McDonald's death in 2014. It took about 13 months to release a police dashboard video showing former officer Jason Van Dyke shooting the 17-year-old. Van Dyke, 37, has been charged with first-degree murder.

"I own it," the mayor said. "I take responsibility for what happened, because it happened on my watch."

Emanuel's 40-minute speech to the City Council acknowledged the ongoing problems the city faces, including the need for police to build a trusting relationship with the area's young black residents.

Emanuel's speech comes a day after video was released showing Chicago police officers using a Taser on a man who later died in the hospital. An autopsy showed the man had severe trauma to his head and body.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Justice Department has launched a civil rights investigation into the police department's use of deadly force.

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