Chicago religious leaders urge vote of no confidence for mayor Rahm Emanuel
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel faces increased pressure to resign, as local black religious leaders called early Friday for a “vote of no confidence” against him for the 2014 police shooting of a 17-year-old black teenager.
Several religious leaders, who demanded greater transparency with incidents involving the police, said they plan to collect petition signatures to help force the mayor’s ouster.
They also called for a special prosecutor in the Laquan McDonald case against white Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, according to the local reports.
The release of a police video of the shooting of the teenager and the filing of a murder charge against Van Dyke on Nov. 24 came more than a year after McDonald’s death. That delay was blamed on Emanuel and the top local prosecutor, and has prompted more than two weeks of protests in the nation’s third-largest city.
Members of McDonald’s family are expected to speak at a news conference at a church at 11:15 a.m. local time (1215 ET), media reports said.
More protests are planned for Friday, the religious leaders said.
High-profile killings of black men by law enforcement in U.S. cities have stirred a national debate about the use of force by police, particularly against racial minorities.
Hundreds of protesters marched through the streets of Chicago and staged “die-ins” on Thursday, calling for the resignation of Emanuel a day after he emotionally apologized for the police shooting of McDonald.
Emanuel has recently taken steps to reform the police department, including setting up a task force to review accountability and firing the police superintendent.
But outrage has mounted over the McDonald shooting and police misconduct overall. Two black state representatives have introduced a bill that would allow the mayor to be recalled.
Meanwhile, the city has begun a nationwide search for a new police superintendent. The Chicago Police Board, a group of citizens appointed by the mayor, is taking applications through Jan. 15.
(Reporting by Suzannah Gonzales; Editing by Ben Klayman and Bernadette Baum)