(CBS) — A defiant Garry McCarthy spoke for the first time on Wednesday since being fired.
Garry McCarthy was fired as head of the Chicago Police Department in December, more than a year after the shooting of 16-year-old Laquan McDonald.READ MORE: Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy Confirms Justin Fields Has Cracked Ribs, Denies Latest Round Of Rumors
McCarthy gave his view of the aftermath to a group of Harvard students.
CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports there was a tinge of bitterness as he recalled his sudden firing at the height of the Laquan McDonald fallout.
“The answer is I had nothing to do with it,” McCarthy said. “That’s the real answer.”
The ex-top cop was on the defensive from the start, with the Harvard panel looking at America losing its trust of the police.
“The Chicago Police Department does not investigate police-related shootings,” he said.
But that’s not true. The official case file released by City Hall after McCarthy’s firing showed otherwise.READ MORE: Former Chicago Bear Dan Hampton Faces Driving While Intoxicated Charge After Recent In Northwest Indiana
“I was not on one email regarding that case,” he said.
Yet McCarthy’s top brass sped to the scene, interviewed all the officers who witnessed the shooting who then in lockstep agreed they’d seen the teen “lunge” at Officer Jason Van Dyke with a knife.
In clear contrast to what the police dashcam video showed. All those same officers are now under federal investigation, facing likely criminal civil rights abuses. Yet McCarthy is wistful for what might have been.
“They say, ‘Man you got screwed but somebody had to take the hit,’” McCarthy said. “I said, ‘You’re right’ and the person who is going to take the hit is going to be the person who committed the act and at the end of the day, police legitimacy in Chicago took an enormous hit and people are dying at record numbers right now as a result.”
The former Chicago Police superintendent was quick to criticize other police in Ferguson, Missouri for the handling of protesters there and he points blame at police failures in Chicago on a variety factors including poverty, lack of jobs and a disenfranchised community.
McCarthy and his wife have now started a private security company in Chicago.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Slight Warm Up On The Way
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is aware of McCarthy’s statements. He wouldn’t comment on them but a spokesman for the mayor’s office said, “I appreciate Garry McCarthy’s service to our city and his work to improve safety in our neighborhoods… nothing but the best in the future.”