The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Ex-Top Cop McCarthy Blames Political Meddling For Chicago Violence

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Dec 28, 2016 4:12PM

Chicago Police Superintendant Garry McCarthy. Photo Credit: Viewminder

Garry McCarthy, the Chicago police superintendent who was fired a year ago over the Laquan McDonald shooting scandal, is still critical of how Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other Chicago political leaders are handling the city's gun violence problem.

In an interview with the Daily News Tuesday afternoon, McCarthy told the paper that political meddling in the police department is to blame for the city's record violence toll, including the 11 recent holiday weekend homicides.

“Because of one shooting, we’ve completely turned over Chicago, and people are dying,” he said, referring to the department reshuffling that took place in the wake of the release of the disturbing Laquan McDonald shooting video. “If you just abandon all of the successful things that we do this is what is going to happen.”

McCarthy was ousted from his role leading Chicago's Police Department just over a year ago, after the city was forced by a court to release a disturbing video showing disgraced cop Jason Van Dyke shoot a black teenager 16 times as the teen tried to flee. The shooting itself took place in October of 2014, and the video was kept from the public during a year-long investigation into the shooting, leading many Chicagoans to accuse the police department of orchestrating a cover-up of what happened—particularly because the official police narrative of the shooting conflicted with the video. Since then, the city has announced a series of police department reforms, including the addition of body cameras, the scrapping of the Independent Police Review Authority in favor of a new police oversight body, the promotion of Eddie Johnson to police superintendent, and the firing or disciplining of several officers involved in the case.

McCarthy said Chicago's current problems stem from a reduction in the police department's efficacy—police are making fewer stops, recovering fewer guns, and no longer holding regular CompStat meetings, he told the paper.

“We have completely flipped the script where we investigate police and not criminals,” McCarthy told the Daily News. “And as a result, we are reaching a lawless state in this country.”

Chicago's homicide rate is up steeply this year over last year. More than 4,300 people have been shot in Chicago this year, compared to 2,989 last year, and the homicide tally is pushing 770—compared to an already high 492 homicides in 2015, according to the Tribune's tally.