The Chicago City Council's Black Caucus is calling for the firing of Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. Black Caucus chair Roderick Sawyer (6th) says the police chief has done little to effect change in the city's wards that are plagued with gun violence, drugs, loitering and other social ills.
"Supt. McCarthy's leadership has failed our communities, and it's time for a substantial change," Sawyer said at a press conference held by the caucus members Monday at City Hall. "The crime and violence in our communities have grabbed headlines across the country. And while the root causes of that violence cannot be solved through policing alone, it is clear that the current approach has been ineffective."
In addition to Sawyer, the aldermen in attendance included Black Caucus members Pat Dowell (3rd), Leslie Hairston (5th), Greg Mitchell (7th), Michelle Harris (8th), Anthony Beale (9th), Toni Foulkes (16th), David Moore (17th), Willie Cochran (20th), Harold Brookins (21st), Michael Scott (24th), Jason Ervin (28th), Chris Taliaferro (29th), Carrie Austin (34th) and Emma Mitts (37th). The aldermen held their press conference one day before McCarthy is scheduled to attend the council's Budget Committee meeting.
The caucus said that although their call for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to fire the superintendent does not have to do with the retirement of the police force's top-ranking African-American officer, they do take issue with the lack of diversity in the department's top ranks and amongst recruits considering their "repeated efforts and inquiries."
McCarthy has been on the job for five years in Chicago, with his tenure surpassing those of his three predecessors.