WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton on Wednesday called for a federal investigation into the shooting death of a black teen by a white Chicago police officer — an incident that has entangled Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a one-time aide in Bill Clinton’s White House.
The recent release of squad-car video showing the officer shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in October 2014 led to days of demonstrations in Chicago and prompted Emanuel to fire the city’s police superintendent.
“Hillary Clinton is deeply troubled by the shooting of Laquan McDonald and the outstanding questions related to both the shooting and the video,” said Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon. He said that while Emanuel’s call for a review of the city’s police department is an “important step,” Clinton supports a full review by the Justice Department.
Clinton’s decision, first reported by the Chicago Tribune, puts her at odds with the mayor, a former chief of staff to President Barack Obama and a longtime Clinton ally who said earlier Wednesday that such a review would be “misguided.”
Emanuel announced Tuesday that he had dismissed Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and has created a task force for police accountability and the expanded use of body cameras.
But his efforts to prevent the public from seeing the video showing the police officer shooting the teenager 16 times has drawn scrutiny from activists protesting McDonald’s death. They note that the video of the October 2014 shooting first surfaced while Emanuel was running for re-election and seeking support among the city’s black community.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago has said it is actively investigating the case and Lisa Madigan, the state’s attorney general, asked the Justice Department on Tuesday to investigate whether the police department’s practices violate federal and constitutional law.
Clinton has made criminal justice reform a centerpiece of her 2016 presidential campaign and met last month in Chicago with the mothers of several black men who were killed by police officers.