(Sun Times Wire) Mayoral challenger Garry McCarthy vowed Monday to “eliminate political manipulation” of the Chicago Police Department and cancel plans to build a $95 million police academy in favor of restoring mental health clinics closed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
“This police academy is a shiny object that Rahm Emanuel can point to and say, `I’m all about police reform.’ It’s for political purposes — not functional purposes,“ McCarthy said.
“I could find much better ways to spend that money that would have a much greater impact on what’s happening in Chicago. … I’d use that $95 million to put social services and mental health centers back in communities that need them the most. Crime reduction is not just about the police. Everybody knows that. But we’re not acting on it.”
The police academy has become a symbol of Emanuel’s misplaced priorities, drawing fire from Chance the Rapper, Black Lives Matter and other groups operating under the #NoCopAcademy label. Emanuel even has been confronted by anti-academy protesters on college campus visits in other cities.
The coalition has argued that the money would be better spent on jobs, youth and education programs.
A fired Chicago Police superintendent, McCarthy would seem an unlikely candidate to join the #NoCopAcademy crowd — until one considers that he has strongly condemned the driving force behind the police academy project: a U.S. Justice Department report triggered by the police shooting of Laquan McDonald. That report found CPD’s training to be sorely lacking — a finding McCarthy disputes.
“We were not only in compliance. We exceeded the Illinois State Training Board’s recommendations and requirements for training. So if Chicago has a problem, the entire state of Illinois has a problem,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy has long accused Emanuel of “political manipulation and micro-management.” He has not provided specific evidence beyond his claim that he was the victim of a political “witch hunt” engineered by top mayoral aides to mask the fact that the “entirety of that cover-up” of the Laquan McDonald shooting video “occurred at City Hall.” Continue Reading
Article Org: Chicago.suntimes.com