CHICAGO (CBS) — There’s new fallout following the guilty verdict against Jason Van Dyke.
It’s a case of the activist versus the aldermen.
CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports from Chicago City Hall where leaders are responding to claims they did nothing to stop police misconduct for years.
“The Black Caucus has completely failed the African American community in Chicago.”
Harsh words from community activist William Calloway, coming on the heels of the murder conviction of Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke for the shooting death of Laquan McDonald. Calloway is calling out black alderman for what he calls years of silence about police misconduct cases like Van Dyke’s.
“The facts are they aided and assisted in maintaining this culture because they never held the police accountable,” said Calloway.
Alderman Howard Brookins is a former defense attorney who built his reputation on suing police officers. He joined the Chicago City Council in 2003 and was once the leader of the Black Caucus.
“My response is that it’s just not true,” said Brookins. “I immediately started talking about it at every budget hearing. Every time we paid out big settlements, enough is enough. When is it going to stop.”
He said he tried to call for an investigation.
“It went on deaf ears. Nobody wanted to hear it,” he said.
CBS 2 tried to reach former mayor Richard Daley and had no luck. CBS 2 reached a spokesperson from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office and he accused the aldermen of “feeling the heat and trying to pass the buck.”
Calloway and the alderman do agree on one thing: the importance of pushing for police reforms, among other things.
“A consent decree, revisions in the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police contract. I think we can start there,” said Calloway.
All the alderman are up for reelection next year.
“This Mayor created the PATF, COPA, and the public safety inspector general cooperated with the Obama administration Department of Justice investigation and is implementing its reform proposals,” said Matthew McGrath press secretary for Emanuel.
“It also partnered with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan on a consent decree. The Mayor is focused on restoring community trust and instituting durable police reforms that will stand the test of time,” McGrath said.