(CBS) — With a high-stakes contract battle looming between City Hall and Chicago’s police union, Mayor Emanuel made his first joint appearance with the newly elected union president.
CBS 2 Political Reporter Derrick Blakley has more.
With the stirring sounds of bagpipes, Emanuel joined Kevin Graham, newly elected head of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7, to honor Chicago’s more than 500 fallen officers.
But it was left to Police Supt. Eddie Johnson to voice that many police feel under siege.
“The narrative going around the country right now, in terms of law enforcement, is really unfair to the men and women who have given their lives,” he said Tuesday.
That feeling produced a police revolt that led to the election of Graham, who intends to defend a police contract that, among other things, prevents officers from being interviewed until 24 hours after a shooting and allows amended statements after viewing video evidence.
“There are some fair rules in that contract that allows our officers to have a fair hearing,” Graham says.
Despite the fallout from the Laquan McDonald shooting, Graham says: “I don’t know of any code of silence. I’ve been a police officer for 30 years, and I don’t know of any police officer that is covering up crimes that any other policeman does.”
Emanuel says he’s told the FOP they’ll have a voice, but the status quo isn’t acceptable.
“We are committed to making changes and reforms necessary to professsionalize our police department,” the mayor said.
Even Emanuel acknowledged the existence of a police code of silence in the wake of the McDonald incident.
What’s more, the city is seeking to fire three officers and a sergeant for allegedly lying to cover up the actions of Officer Jason Van Dyke, who’s charged with murder in McDonald’s death.