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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.

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.

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.

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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”.

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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Hope Hicks denied under oath knowing about Trump’s hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels

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Former White House communications director Hope Hicks on Wednesday denied under oath knowing anything about the hush-money scheme set up by former Trump "fixer" Michael Cohen to pay off President Donald Trump's former mistresses.

"Hicks told lawmakers today that she did not have knowledge during 2016 campaign of hush-money payments made in run-up to election," reports CNN's Manu Raju. "Also she wouldn’t discuss what she learned about those payments during her time at White House because of immunity claims."

Hicks told lawmakers today that she did not have knowledge during 2016 campaign of hush-money payments made in run-up to election, per sources. Also she wouldn’t discuss what she learned about those payments during her time at WH bc of immunity claims https://t.co/GZWqzCzpGX

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2020 Election

Trump’s 2020 campaign strategy is familiar: Troll the libs!

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Late on Tuesday, I got an email from an unusual source. A reporter for the conservative publication the Washington Examiner asked if I'd be interested in sharing thoughts on Joe Biden's history of joking "about 'locking up your daughters'" and on "Biden's view of women and gender relations." This was in light of my previous criticisms of Biden's apparent condescension towards girls and women, and his pockmarked history on gender relations in general.

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Cory Booker rips Biden for praising racist senators: ‘You don’t joke about calling black men boys’

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Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) blasted Joe Biden for praising two segregationist senators he'd served with as a lawmaker.

The former vice president and current Democratic presidential frontrunner reminisced about his relationship with Mississippi Democrat James Eastland and Georgia Democrat Herman Talmadge, two notoriously racist senators during the Civil Rights era, reported The Hill.

“At least there was some civility, we got things done," Biden said, recalling that Eastland had never called him "boy." "We didn't agree on much of anything. We got things done, we got it finished."

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