McCarthy: No Cover-Up In Police Beach Closure

CHICAGO (CBS) — The questions won’t go away about why Chicago police closed North Avenue Beach on Monday evening.

On Friday, Acting Police Supt. Garry McCarthy insisted the evacuation was strictly in response to medical calls about heat exhaustion. Some have speculated gang activity was behind the police decision.

In an interview with CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine, McCarthy appeared eager to put the issue to rest.

In McCarthy’s view, the controversy raises important issues about his credibility and the way he intends to do business after his expected confirmation by City Council next week as Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s choice to lead the police department. 

“No way was the decision made on anything but public health,” McCarthy said.

He said police have reviewed service calls and video. He says there was just one call about men loitering, among 19 calls for service made from the beach that day. Seven ambulances were dispatched.

Why do some people still doubt that explanation?

If it is an issue of distrust, McCarthy says, “We’re going to overcome that.”

“I’m hoping in six months from now or two weeks from now or even tomorrow, (people will say) ‘OK, if Garry McCarthy says this, we believe him because if he’s wrong, he’s gonna say he’s wrong.’”

“I’ve done that,” McCarthy added. “You can go back at news clips where I say, ‘Guess what? We blew this one. We made a mistake here.’”

McCarthy said he didn’t find out about the decision to clear the beach until after it was already done. And he has no problem with that. He says his commanders have the authority to make those decisions. This one, he says, was the correct one.

  • tom sharp

    Even that dummy Jacobson knows this guy is a liar, an idiot or both! Who shuts the beach because the temperature is hot!!??

  • Speakinout

    For get the police stats- did he look at the citizen reports- on this blog alone persons were stating they witnessed thugs all around. So its a question of trust?
    I’ll trust the peoples word!

  • srdib

    way to start out, ,lying to the public. why weren’t the other beaches in the city closed? the new mayor is just as bad, he hired the guy. so either the mayor has his head in the sand (pun intended) and doesnt know what this guy is doing, or he is covering for him. gonna be a long hot summer. why doesnt he take all these extra cops and put them on the beaches so the gang bangers can go kill each other in their own “hoods”

  • Truth B Told

    Great comments folks. You are correct. The man is lying and so is the Mayor.

  • Say What

    “Why do some people still doubt that explanation?”.Maybe because some people have lived here for a long time,and know the real story.Just tell the truth,and we’ll all just get along fine.

  • Somkey Kielbasa


    • Mr. Justice

      They will not wake up. The reason being, the people who pay taxes actually didn’t vote for Rahm or want a police Supt. such as McCarthy. It is those who are on welfare, do not pay taxes, and continue to suck of the nipple of the “nanny” state that voted for Rahm and his agenda.

  • sb

    So McCarthy is either outright lying or has his head so far in the sand that his incompetence is almost laughable. I have lived 3 blocks from North Ave. beach for nearly 10 years. Believe me…this was not heat related. The violence and tagging started late last year in a very noticeable way. This year was like a tidal wave of disrespect, open alcohol use and piles of litter as far as the eye could see on the beach/path. I’ve never felt as sad and disappointed to live in Chicago, as I did last weekend. The fact that our leaders are lying to everyone just seems irresponsible and unsafe.

  • North Ave. Beach Closes, This Time For Lightning « CBS Chicago

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  • Jean

    It really does not matter why they closed the beach at North Avenue. The officials made a decision and they closed the beach probably saving many lives. Guess what, I wished they closed the beach at 63rd Street because a fight broke out near the 63rd St beach and a young woman was killed. There a few fools out there they spoil everything for everyone.

  • Larry

    Twenty years ago, this lie would have flown and never would have been questioned. Now, we have the internet, and we all know better as a result. I wonder if this guy think Abbate was defending himself as well?

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