Some of the Chicago’s black aldermen on Monday demanded Mayor Rahm Emanuel fire Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, arguing that he has not been effective in lowering the crime rate in the city’s African-American neighborhoods.
The aldermen also complained there are not enough African Americans in the upper ranks of the police department, the nation’s second largest with 12,244 sworn officers.
“As aldermen of these communities, we are on the front lines of the work to keep our streets safe and secure. We have been troubled by the superintendent’s lack of responsiveness to our concerns and requests as we face this crisis,” said Alderman Roderick Sawyer of the 6th Ward. Sawyer also is chairman of the City Council’s Black Caucus, which hosted the news conference.
Sawyer was joined during the news conference by most the city’s 18 black aldermen, including some who have been strong supporters of Mayor Emanuel. The mayor announced on Monday that he plans to stick with McCarthy.
The demands by members of the City Council’s Black Caucus comes as a growing number of residents in the African-American community believe we must do more to stop the violence in our neighborhoods not just rely on the police.
The same aldermen who are now demanding that Mayor Emanuel fire McCarthy three years ago voted to close much-needed outpatient mental health clinics in black neighborhoods on the city’s South and West Sides.
Some believe the closing of the clinics may be partially responsible for the spike in crime. Through September 27, homicides and shootings have risen 21% from the year earlier, according to the Chicago Tribune.