The mayor of Chicago on Tuesday fired the city’s chief of police after an outcry over a police shooting in which an African-American teenager was killed last year.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has been facing days of demands to sack the police superintendent, said he requested the resignation of Garry McCarthy because trust in the department has been “eroded.”
McCarthy “has become an issue rather than dealing with an issue,” Emanuel said, adding that he was grateful for McCarthy’s service to the city.
The mayor has been under pressure since the release last week of a video recorded by a police dashboard camera showing an officer fatally shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. The controversy over the video swelled after the department resisted releasing the video for more than a year.
“Now is the time for fresh eyes to confront the challenges that the department, our community and our city are facing,” Emanuel said.
The mayor had previously supported McCarthy, and McCarthy had said he didn’t plan to quit.
A white officer, Jason Van Dyke, has been charged with first-degree murder in the case. He allegedly shot McDonald 16 times in October 2014.
Emanuel also announced the formation of a police accountability task force.
Since the release of the video, protesters, activists and several elected officials have called for a special prosecutor to look into the police shooting.
The incident was among a series of high-profile shootings of young black men by white police officers in recent years that have sparked protests across the country, including riots last year in Ferguson, Missouri, and in April in Baltimore.