CHICAGO (CBS) — About 100 protesters celebrated the dismissal of Police Supt. Garry McCarthy on Tuesday night by dancing outside the doors to Chicago Public Safety Headquarters in the Bronzeville neighborhood.
While the protesters had gotten their wish with McCarthy’s ouster, they wanted more, and have set their sights on Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez for their handling of the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald by Police Officer Jason Van Dyke.
In a stark contrast to the phalanx of officers on bicycles or on foot, in what amounted to walls of humanity during larger protests downtown last week, only a handful of officers in regular dress stood between protesters and the glass entrance doors at 3510 S. Michigan Av. The rally continued for more than an hour.
Hours earlier, Emanuel had fired McCarthy, citing the need for new leadership to help restore public trust in the Police Department in the wake of the McDonald scandal. Van Dyke has been charged with murder for McDonald’s death, and video of the shooting released last week shows him shooting McDonald 16 times on Oct. 20, 2014, as McDonald was walking away from police.
Officers stood back Tuesday night outside Chicago Public Safety Headquarters as mostly youthful speakers took credit for applying the pressure that led to McCarthy’s dismissal, after which those same organizers joined dance lines and danced to gangsta rap.
Organizers of the rally said some of those who were present, and had organized protest marches in recent days, were as young as middle school. The youthful exuberance was evident throughout, along with a cocksure attitude.
“Make no mistake. It is because of the demands of the young, black organizations that are represented behind me that McCarthy got fired,” said Veronica Morris-Moore.