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Revealed: Rahm Emanuel administration delayed release of Laquan McDonald shooting footage

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Emails obtained by Chicago Tribune show administration of Rahm Emanuel scrambled to counter criticism after police dashcam footage made public

As tensions continue in Chicago over the handling of the police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, emails obtained by the Chicago Tribune show that the administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel delayed the release of a dashboard camera video of the incident, then scrambled to stem a tide of public criticism.

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McDonald was shot 16 times by Chicago police in October 2014, as he walked away from officers while carrying a knife. A dashboard camera video released in November 2015 undermined claims by the police union that McDonald had “lunged” at officers with the knife, causing them to fear for their lives.

The city withheld the video until a Cook County judge ordered it be made public. The day the video was released, prosecutors charged Officer Jason Van Dyke with murder. On Tuesday, he pleaded not guilty.

Emanuel’s administration has faced withering criticism over the lack of transparency surrounding the shooting.

Emails obtained by the Chicago Tribune on Thursday evening showed that after the release of the video, as protests took place throughout the city, the White House asked for a briefing on the situation, as did the office of US attorney general Loretta Lynch. Emanuel was White House chief of staff in President Obama’s first term.

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The city’s top attorney personally edited statements made by the mayor to faith leaders, the Tribune reported, “and aides sought to blunt criticism against the mayor made by Reverend Jesse Jackson and Chicago Catholic priest Michael Pfleger.”

When a New York Times editorial described the Emanuel administration’s actions as a blatant “cover up”, writing that the city seemed to have done everything in its power to delay release of the video, the mayor’s chief of communications wrote an email expressing shock.

“Well, I knew it’d be bad but this is ridiculous,” Kelley Quinn wrote, according to the Tribune.

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The emails also reveal that even after police superintendent Garry McCarthy was forced to resign, he was able to follow developments among city officials because he still had access to his email account.

In its efforts to delay release of the video, which might have been seen as a threat to Emanuel’s re-election campaign in February 2016, the city reportedly also asked McDonald’s family attorney to agree not to release the video until Van Dyke was charged. That could have delayed release of the video for years.

The emails were released one day after Emanuel called for better training of police officers, and less than a week after police “accidentally” shot and killed a 55-year-old mother of five, and a 19-year-old who they said was “combative”.

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Police did not say whether the 19-year-old, Quintonio Legrier, had any weapons. He and the 55-year-old woman, Bettie Jones, were black.


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Stephen Colbert rips ‘idiot’ GOP senator for defending Trump’s unconstitutional self-dealing

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"Late Show" host Stephen Colbert returned from New Zealand for a new show that aired Monday evening.

"I have been as far from the insatiable black hole of news that is Donald Trump as you can get on this planet.

I've heard there have been some developments over the last 10 days that did not go well for Donnie,"

The host ripped Trump's 71-minute press conference.

"Seventy-one minutes is not a press conference, it's a one man show," he explained. "If you liked 'Fleabag,' you'll love Donald Trump in 'Douchebag,'" he said.

[caption id="attachment_1555275" align="aligncenter" width="800"] ‘The Late Show’ graphic (screengrab)[/caption]

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Texas Republicans are abandoning the state’s GOP Speaker: ‘We no longer support him’

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Some of the most powerful Texas House Republicans said Monday they no longer support GOP Speaker Dennis Bonnen, marking the biggest blow yet to his political future amid the fallout from a secret recording released last week by a hardline conservative activist.

Five Republicans considered senior members of the lower chamber issued a statement withdrawing support for him: State Reps. Four Price of Amarillo, Dan Huberty of Houston, Lyle Larson of San Antonio, Chris Paddie of Marshall and John Frullo of Lubbock.

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Donald Trump is making a mockery of Marco Rubio — and the Florida senator is letting him

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Sen. Marco Rubio was once one of Donald Trump’s most formidable opponents; now, the Florida senator bends over backward to excuse the president’s corruption.

In 2016, Rubio and Trump sparred frequently on the Republican primary debate stage. Trump picked the uninspired nickname “Little Marco” for the senator, which didn’t seem to do much damage on its own, but Rubio never gained the momentum or strength that his backers hoped would prove to be strong enough to take down the reality TV candidate. As Rubio grew desperate, he launched one of his most memorable and pitiful attacks by stooping to his opponent’s level, implying that Trump had a small penis. It was more of an embarrassing moment for Rubio than anyone else, though Trump helped himself with a crude rejoinder.

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