November 2015 1.0

This is a re-issue of our commentary - A Case for Replacing McCarthy, along with other relevant articles and a couple of asks: if you agree, please sign a petition calling for McCarthy's firing that goes to the Mayor and a petition asking that the Department of Justice open an investigation of practices, policies and the culture at the Chicago Police Department that led to the murder of LaQuan McDonald and others in our community. 
COAL Board of Directors

The time to work seriously and collectively, to improve the state of our Community, is upon us..."  
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"A Case for Replacing 
Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy"

CHICAGO, Illinois October 23, 2015 -

Should Garry McCarthy, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, be fired or asked to resign?

Per COAL's Public Safety and Justice Committee: Absolutely. Period. No question about it

Why should McCarthy be relieved of his high-paying position?
1. The buck stops with the Police Superintendent

2. Garry McCarthy should never have been appointed by the Mayor and approved by the City Council... 

3. Performance. Simply look at the numbers; at the results of his tenure... 

4. A lack of CPD transparency... 

5. A lack of CPD diversity...

6. Inability to change the 'culture' of the Chicago Police Department...

7. McCarthy's own words...

Update 11/25/15: The release of the video of the murder of 17 year old LaQuan McDonald by CPD Officer Jason Van Dyke, 400 days after the night of the event and forced to be released by a Circuit Court Judge, sadly underscores the lack of transparency, the lack of understanding and sensitivity to our community, the inability of McCarthy to change a CPD culture that does not value black lives and McCarthy's lack of leadership skills. It points to a planned suppression of the video, therefor it evidences a lack of ethics by someone charged with engendering confidence from all segments of the City's population.

Net bottom line: McCarthy must go.

- Submitted by Terri Johnson - 

Laquan McDonald: an indictment of the system

By Curtis Black

City officials' responses to the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald expose systemic failures in police accountability.

: The Reporter was at the scene for key events surrounding the release of the Laquan McDonald police shooting video. View our recap here. 

More police shooting videos to come?
By Jonah Newman & Adeshina Emmanuel

The court-ordered release of footage depicting the killing of Laquan McDonald may set a precedent for public access to such videos, but activists are divided on the value. 

By Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, Cook County Commissioner
Four hundred days. That is too long for justice to be served for Laquan McDonald and his family. It is too long to bring to light the dashcam video of Laquan's final moments. And, it is too long to wait before we heard directly and fully from Mayor Emanuel, State's Attorney Alvarez and Police Superintendent McCarthy It is only yesterday when we finally heard answers to questions that Chicagoans have been asking.

New Job Openings recently added to COAL Website.

The next  
Power Breakfast
is  scheduled for
Saturday, December 5, 2015
Begins 8:30am / Program 9:30am
                               Guest Speaker: Kimberly Foxx
                           Public Safety and Justice
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The Coalition of African American Leaders believes that it is important to examine the critical issues confronting the African American community where injustice, inequality and the absence of access and opportunity continue to prevail, thereby negatively impacting us as a people. COAL is an assemblage that advocates and organizes for appropriate and responsible public policy change, system behavior change and equality of opportunity. We aim to achieve for all of our people the fullness of the life experience without any form of racism or exclusion as a deterrent. We believe we must prepare ourselves for the opportunity of this full participation, thereby achieving the necessary education and training to participate. 

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- The Department of Justice Must Investigate -

Chicago, Illinois November 25, 2015 - 

When the U.S. Department of Justice announced in April, 2015 that they would open an investigation into the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died a week after being taken into custody by Baltimore City police, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake issued the following statement:

"From the outset of our investigation, I have repeatedly affirmed my support for an outside review into the death of Mr. Gray. Whenever a police force conducts an internal investigation, there are always appropriate questions of transparency and impartiality. My goal has always been to get answers to the questions so many of us are still asking with regards to Mr. Gray's death. Any effort that adds additional transparency and builds community trust in this process is welcomed. This outside review will assist us in getting to the bottom of what happened to Mr. Gray in the most objective and transparent way possible."

As it was in Baltimore, Maryland, so it is here in Chicago. 

We must insist on an outside review into the death of LaShaun McDonald and what appears to be a series of moves to mis-represent, mis-report, hide, avoid and obfuscate the truth. An outside review of what appears to be a culture at the Chicago Police Department and a pattern of political maneuvers by the Office of the Mayor to occlude real transparency and that results in harm to the citizenry:
  • Why did the Mayor fight against the release of the video;
  • Why did the City payout $5 million to the McDonald family with no further explanation of wrong doing by the CPD;
  • Why is there no audio associated with the video tape; any of the video tapes now released; and why is it that most videos released by the CPD also do not have associated audio;
  • There were at least eight squad cars at the scene and yet we do not have video from every car; do other videos exist that have not been released; it appears that at least one video was not turned on until 5 minutes after the shooting;
  • What about the other officers on the scene; is there evidence of an internal cover-up of what happened;
  • The manager of the Burger King has stated that CPD officers deleted 81 minutes of their video taping of the area at the time of the shooting and killing of LaQuan; if true, there are officers at the CPD who have obstructed justice;
  • Why has the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) not issued any findings related to their review of the officer and why have they kept this review top secret within the agency;
  • Why did State's Attorney Alvarez not bring any charges against the officer until the Judge ruled that the video had to be released; over 400 days later;
  • Why did the Mayor claim that he had not seen the video when clearly he had to base the payout of five million of our tax dollars on something substantive; who made the payout recommendation prior to the family filing charges and what discussions  were they involved in with the Mayor and Superintendent;
  • Were the timing of the payout and the State's Attorney's charges politically motivated;
  • Is there evidence of collusion between the Mayor's Office, CPD and the State's Attorney's Office; which would in turn be evidence of obstruction of justice; 
  • What is the context for this and other shootings - in other words, is the culture of the CPD such that it contributes to putting the lives of our community in danger from the very agency mission'd to serve and protect;
  • Is there a pattern of disproportionate harassment, shooting and killing of African Americans and other people of color by CPD;
  • What needs to be done to repair police-community relations; which must be improved to address increasing violence in our communities; 
For the above and for many additional unanswered questions, COAL calls on the Department of Justice to expand its investigation of the murder of LaQuan McDonald to include a pattern of practices and behaviors by the City of Chicago, the Chicago Police Department and the Cook County State's Attorney, as represented by the handling of this specific case, to assess broad violations of civil rights of African Americans and other people of color. 

IPRA and its activities must also be vigorously reviewed - it has been reported that the vast majority of police misconduct allegations received by IPRA are referred directly back to Chicago Police  - in other words there appears to be no true police accountability. 

Net Bottom Line: The DOJ  must investigate. 

- Submitted by  Terri Johnson -

November 25, 2015
By: Natalie Moore

In the moments before the city released the video showing Officer Jason Van Dyke fatally shooting 17-year old Laquan McDonald, Mayor Rahm Emanuel urged residents to stay calm. "It is fine to be passionate but it is essential that it remain peaceful. We have a collective responsibility in the city of Chicago to ensure that this time of healing happens," Emanuel said at a press conference.

On Friday, November 27th, Superintendent McCarthy held a press conference to announce the arrest and 1st degree murder charge for the killing of 9 year old Tyshawn Lee. McCarthy applauded the support, assistance and cooperation of the community in leading to the arrest. McCarthy highlighted the speed at which his detectives worked to bring justice for the murder.

This is good news, but oh how ironic.

400 days after the murder of LaQuan McDonald by one of his officers, we ask, where was the speed in that case, where were the other officers who manned the several squad cars surrounding that murder in cooperating to bring justice for LaQuan. 

We surmise that in seeking justice, cooperation for McCarthy and the Chicago Police Department is a one way street.

And that is the Stone COAL Truth.