Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the firing on Tuesday, just days after he held a press conference with then Police Supt. Garry McCarthy over the police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.
The mayor said he and McCarthy began discussing the future of the department on Sunday, and on Tuesday morning, he asked for the superintendent’s resignation. First Deputy Supt. John Escalante will serve as acting superintendent while the Chicago Police Board conducts a national search for a permanent replacement for McCarthy.
McCarthy’s ouster comes a week after Police Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder in the October 2014 shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Hours after Van Dyke was charged, Emanuel and McCarthy released police dashboard camera video of Van Dyke shooting McDonald 16 times.
The high-profile shooting death of a black teenager by a white police officer sparked several days of protests across the city, including a Black Friday march that shut down several stores on the Magnificent Mile.
“The public trust in the leadership of the department has been shaken and eroded,” Emanuel said Tuesday at City Hall, as he announced the formation of a task force to review police accountability, oversight, and training.