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Garry McCarthy's Wife Offers Food for Thought After Firing

By DNAinfo Staff | December 4, 2015 12:11pm | Updated on December 4, 2015 1:36pm
 Attorney Kristin Barnette McCarthy and Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy have been married since Dec. 31, 2014.
Attorney Kristin Barnette McCarthy and Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy have been married since Dec. 31, 2014.
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Kristin Barnette McCarthy

CHICAGO — Kristin Barnette McCarthy, the wife of former Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy, has made no public comments on the firing of her husband in the wake of the release of a video showing an officer shooting a teen 16 times.

But a couple of news columns she recently posted on her Facebook page may indicate what she's thinking.

Barnette McCarthy, an attorney, on Thursday posted a time.com column headlined "Firing Police Chief Puts Us in Danger." She described it as a "short worthy read."

The column, written by Howard Safir, who was the New York City Police Department commissioner from 1996 to 2000 when McCarthy was on the force, says firing McCarthy in the wake of the video is an overreaction that "risks putting our communities in danger."

"McCarthy is recognized by police chiefs of major cities throughout this country as a progressive thought leader who knows how to reduce crime and protect his community," Safir wrote. "His dismissal will magnify the 'Ferguson effect' that FBI Director James B. Coomey said is causing police officers to be less responsive to crime and fearful that every action they take will be second-guessed."

Safir said the shooting of Laquan McDonald by Officer Jason Van Dyke "appears to be a grevious abuse of authority" but is the action of an individual officer, not an entire department.

Barnette McCarthy also posted a column by DNAinfo's Mark Konkol headlined, "What Did Fired Top Cop Do Wrong? He Stood in Front of Mayor Rahm Emanuel."

A personal injury trial lawyer for Kralovec, Jambois & Scrwartz, Barnette McCarthy married McCarthy nearly a year ago. They reside in River North.

In a November 10 interview with DNAinfo.com senior editor Justin Breen, she was asked how she felt when people called for her husband's firing.

Responded Barnette McCarthy: "No one wants to see their partner, friend or family member go through that. It is also understandable that in such a high-profile job, there are going to be difficulties."

She continued: "However, I also think that people often forget that even though someone is a high-profile public figure, they are still human beings with beating hearts and feelings."

"He is a tough guy, but much more sensitive than anyone would expect," she said. "Ultimately, he is a really good person that went into his profession so that he could protect and help people, which he has demonstrated since the time he became a beat cop, through 9/11 and up to what he does on a daily basis to try to change what has been happening in Chicago for decades."

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