CHICAGO (CBS) — Police aren’t the problem. Criminals are. That’s the message former Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy delivered at The City Club Monday.

McCarthy says police do make mistakes, but the focus on police wrongdoing is hampering their ability to fight crime, CBS 2 Political Reporter Derrick Blakley reports.

When two Chicago police officers fired at a stolen car driven by unarmed teen Paul O’Neil, McCarthy says the cops violated a policy he put in place.

But he also says, “I’ve got an idea, don’t steal a car, don’t take police on a high speed chase, and don’t crash your vehicle into a police car at 50 mph and then be upset about the results.”

O’Neil was later killed by police, which doesn’t mean cops were right, says McCarthy, but he believes the focus is in the wrong place.

“I think we’re in a culture today, that we’re investigating police instead of investigating criminals,” he says.

McCarthy, who was still in charge at the time of the Laquan McDonald shooting, also believes the city erred in releasing the controversial video.

“If I was asked, and I was not, I would not have recommended releasing the LQM video, for no other reason that we do not release evidence in a criminal investigation,” McCarthy notes.

McCarthy says until officer Jason Van Dyke’s murder trial is over, it’s a mistake to try to fire other cops who supported Van Dyke’s story that McDonald posed a threat.

“These are ten witnesses in a first-degree murder case against a police officer who now cannot testify because they’re testimony is now going to be impeached,” McCarthy says.

McCarthy says police deserve their bad reputation in the black community, because for years, it was the job of white police to enforce racist government laws and policies.

But McCarthy says less aggressive policing has emboldened criminals. He says street stops by Chicago Police are down 95 percent, with shootings and murders both up 50 percent. And the two, he believes, are directly related.


Derrick Blakley