CHICAGO — On Tuesday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said it's just fine that his Police Accountability Task Force doesn’t include a single group advocating the public’s right to immediate transparency when it comes to the release of videos and reports after an officer shoots a citizen in the street.
The mayor defended the integrity of his hand-picked “independent” task force by saying the members “consulted” with the “people that brought the lawsuit related to Laquan McDonald” before recommending a policy to keep videos and reports secret for 90 days instead of, well, forever.
Independent journalist Brandon Smith is one of the people who brought the lawsuit that led to the release of video showing a Chicago Police officer shoot and kill the black teenager with 16 bullets.
After reading my column, Smith reached out on Twitter to offer details on the extent he and his lawyer, Matt Topic, were by consulted by the task force on its recommendation.
That sparked an eye-opening Twitter chat about the difference between the mayor’s perception of the process that led to the hand-picked task force’s recommendation and how the lone journalist the group “consulted” sees it.
I've included highlights of that Twitter exchange below.
Feel free to join the conversation ... and if you want to tweet at Mayor Emanuel, his official Twitter handle is @ChicagosMayor.
Go ahead, tell him what you think.