CITY HALL — The city's top cop has lost the confidence of African-American aldermen.
The City Council Black Caucus called Monday for the firing of Police Supt. Garry McCarthy.
A warm September proved to be the most lethal month of the year for Chicago shootings, with more than 55 killed in more than 250 separate shootings, but that was only one element of the complaints raised Monday as more than a dozen aldermen called for new leadership in the Police Department.
"Supt. McCarthy's leadership has failed our communities, and it is time for a substantial change," said Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th), caucus chairman. "It is clear that the current approach has been ineffective."
"My constituents get sick and tired of hearing about statistics, and no action," said Ald. Carrie Austin (34th).
"What's going on today is not working," added Ald. Jason Ervin (28th), who said the department had grown lax in prosecuting non-violent crime including drug dealing.
"We have all supported Supt. McCarthy in the past," said Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd). "And I think it's just gotten to the point, in all of our wards, that we are not happy with the results we're seeing."
Sawyer took issue with what he called McCarthy's "lack of responsiveness" and his "failure to place African Americans in positions of leadership," as well as recent lags in recruiting African-American officers. "Five years has been long enough," he added.
Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) referred to a "level of disrespect" in McCarthy's dealings with aldermen, adding, "We are demanding a better quality of life in our community, and we're not gonna accept anything less."
Mayor Rahm Emanuel stood by his police chief.
"The mayor supports the work and commitment of Supt. McCarthy and the 12,500 sworn men and women of the Chicago Police Department," said mayoral spokesman Adam Collins, a former Police Department spokesman. "While the mayor shares the concerns about rising gun violence, our focus must remain on the public-safety challenge we face — reducing access to the illegal guns that drive violence in our communities. Together, we must demand better state and federal laws to support the efforts of our police and residents in the fight against gun violence."
Fifteen caucus members issued the demand, with Leslie Hairston (5th), Greg Mitchell (7th), Michelle Harris (8th), Toni Foulkes (16th), David Moore (17th), Willie Cochran (20th), Howard Brookins Jr. (21st), Michael Scott (24th), Chris Taliaferro (29th) and Emma Mitts (37th) joining those named above. They were augmented Monday by Aldermen Scott Waguespack (32nd), Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) and Gilbert Villegas (36th).
McCarthy was scheduled to face aldermen Tuesday afternoon as he represents the Police Department during City Council budget hearings.
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