CHICAGO (CBS) — Police Supt. Garry McCarthy praised Chicago’s police force Friday for showing “remarkable” professionalism during several days of protests in the wake of the release of a video showing a white police officer fatally shooting a black teen, and that officer being charged with murder.
And despite repeated calls from community activists, religious leaders, and even the City Council’s Black Caucus that he resign over his handling of the McDonald case, McCarthy said he has no intention of stepping down.
Hundreds of protesters shut down part of Michigan Avenue on Friday, and blocked the entrances to several Magnificent Mile stores, in the third day of protests over the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by Officer Jason Van Dyke in October 2014. Van Dyke has been charged with first-degree murder.
Friday’s march came on the heels of two nights of protests downtown, and for the most part the demonstrations have been peaceful, with the exception of a few small scuffles.
McCarthy said he believes the protests have gone “exceptionally well” in large part because his officers have gone out of their way to let demonstrators express their outrage at police without any of the protests erupting into large clashes between protesters and police.
“You guys have filmed it. It’s out there; people screaming in their faces, getting hit with spittle, in some cases throwing objects, and in one case actually very clearly assaulting a police officer and then getting cut loose from custody, which shouldn’t have happened,” he said.