CHICAGO – As the Department of Justice comes to town to investigate the Chicago Police Department, the mayor continues to face protests wherever he goes. One of the problems investigators will look into is the code of silence within the CPD; even the mayor isn't denying that's an issue.
"Sixteen shots." That's how many times 17-year-old Laquan Mcdonald was shot by police officer Jason Van Dyke, who now faces murder charges. Mayor Emanuel, on his proactive so-called "rehabilitation tour," heard students at the all-male Urban Prep academics chanting this as he left the auditorium after telling them about a new initiative to help disadvantaged black youth. He said later he understands their frustration.
The protests continue while investigators from the Department of Justice are in town for the first of several meetings with the Chicago Police Department, meetings that are expected to result in reforms within the department. One of those reforms could be the code of silence Mayor Emanuel admitted again today is prevalent within the CPD.
Civil rights attorney Chris Smith says this is the first time a mayor or anyone with the Chicago Police has admitted there's a code of silence.
Smith represents two Chicago police officers who say they were blackballed and labeled "rats" for telling their superiors about two bad cops who were shaking down drug dealers. They went to the feds when nothing was done within the department.
The code of silence is similar to the three other officers with Jason Van Dyke the day he killed Laquan McDonald, the video contradicts their accounts of what happened.
Yesterday at the City Council hearings on excessive force within the Chicago police department, interim Superintendent John Escalante said he will try to fix the problems.
Smith will like to depose Mayor Emanuel since he is the only high ranking official to admit there is a code of silence. No one of rank within the Chicago police department has done so under oath. They flat out deny it.