Embattled Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel stood before his city’s aldermen to apologize for the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by a former police officer. While many have called for Emanuel’s resignation, the mayor has insisted he will not step down.
Instead, he told Chicago City Council members, “If we’re going to fix it, I want you to understand it’s my responsibility with you. But if we’re also going to begin the healing process, the first step in that journey is my step, and I’m sorry.”
Emanuel’s rare speech before the group lasted around 40-minutes, and became extremely emotional at times. When he mentioned an interaction with a group of young Black men, Emanuel seemed on the verge of tears.
“I asked them, tell me the one thing I need to know, and rather than tell me something, one young man asked me a simple question that gets to the core of what we’re talking about. He said, ‘Do you think the police would ever treat you the way they treat me?’ And the answer is no, and that’s wrong. And that has to change in this city. That has to come to an end and end now. No citizen is a second-class citizen in the city of Chicago. If my children are treated one way, every child is treated the same way.”
While Emanuel’s speech was well-received inside the room, outside of it, protesters assembled to call for the mayor to step down.
— BLMChicago (@BLMChi) December 9, 2015
— #GetFree (@daneyvilla) December 9, 2015
By apologizing for McDonald’s death and appointing an independent task-force to recommend police department reforms Emanuel hopes to quell the calls for his resignation; however, it remains to be seen if it will work.