CITY HALL — In a reversal of his comments a day earlier, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he "welcomes any engagement" by the U.S. Department of Justice, according to a Thursday morning statement.
During a Wednesday interview with Politico's Mike Allen, Emanuel said a new Department of Justice investigation into the Chicago Police Department would be "misguided," pointing to measures he said were already in place to hold police accountable.
"There’s an ongoing investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office here in Chicago with the FBI," Emanuel said during the interview. "They are looking into this situation and all the aspects around it. I think an additional layer prior to the completion of this, in my view, would be misguided."
Following a front-page story in Thursday's Chicago Tribune examining whether Emanuel would be able to block such an investigation, the mayor sought to "clarify" his remarks, according to his Thursday statement.
"As it relates to a longer-term review of our police department and efforts to improve police accountability, I am open to anything that will help give us answers and restore the trust that is critical to our public safety efforts," Emanuel said in the statement. "I trust the Department of Justice to make the right decision based on the facts and the law."
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan sent an open letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch Tuesday asking for federal investigators to examine whether "there are systemic violations of the Constitution or federal law by the Chicago Police Department."
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton joined the call for a federal probe Wednesday, releasing a statement saying she's encouraged by Emanuel's Tuesday announcement that he'll convene a police task force, but that "the gravity of the situation" calls for outsiders to step in.
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