|Photo by Rich Hein/Sun-Times|
A press release was e-mailed to us yesterday regarding this. It surprised me although, I realize many aren't happy with our police superintendent. I never thought this would turn into a full rebellion as columnist Mark Brown states:
The demand for the firing of Police Supt. Garry McCarthy by the City Council’s Black Caucus shapes up as the biggest aldermanic rebellion faced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in his four and a half years on the job.And now the playing field, what are the possibilities? Do we even know?
“It’s bold,” agreed Caucus Chairman Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) of the surprise call to oust McCarthy, although Sawyer disputed my characterization of it constituting a “rebellion.”
I don’t know what else to call such an in-your-face move announced less than 24 hours before the police superintendent, long viewed as an Emanuel favorite, is scheduled to appear before the City Council for his annual budget hearing.
From a political standpoint, the move to dump McCarthy puts the onus for combating Chicago’s violence even more directly on the mayor than it already was, while also complicating his fight for a budget proposal that relies on a $588 million property tax hike.When did this "rebellion" become a problem?
Emanuel has continued to voice full confidence in McCarthy’s leadership, even as the city’s homicide totals have sharply increased this year.
Fourteen of the city’s 18 African-American aldermen, including some of the mayor’s usual supporters, stood shoulder to shoulder to make it clear McCarthy no longer has their confidence. A few white and Hispanic aldermen joined them.
Although dissatisfaction with McCarthy has been building for years, Sawyer said the decision to call for his ouster actually came together rapidly in a matter of hours Monday after one black alderman — apparently a fairly influential one — stated over lunch in an off-handed manner that it was time for McCarthy to go.
That led to a series of hastily called meetings in which Sawyer first tested the idea and then sought to make sure everyone was on board.
When Ald. Carrie Austin (34th), the budget committee chairman and one of Emanuel’s strongest loyalists, stepped to the microphone with the rest, it became plain the mayor had a serious problem on his hands.I suppose the Mayor and McCarthy needs to come up with a new strategy to at least make it appear that police are doing something about the violence. Then and only then would McCarthy step aside for someone else, whoever that may be. Time will only tell.
I’m not quite sure how Emanuel finesses this one. If he gives in and shows McCarthy the door, he looks weak. And if he ignores the aldermen, he runs the risk of appearing deaf to the concerns of an African-American community that bears the brunt of the violence.