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Ex-Police Chief Says He's Been 'Encouraged' To Run Against Rahm For Mayor, But He Won't

By aaroncynic in News on Apr 5, 2017 11:41PM

Getty Images / Photo: Scott Olson / November 2015
Former Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy says that he’s not exactly interested in challenging Rahm Emanuel for his seat in the mayor’s office in 2019—but he has been asked to do so.

“A lot of people are encouraging me to do that,” McCarthy said in an interview on “The Big John and Ray Show” on WLS Wednesday. “Politics is not in my DNA. I’m not very good at that as you guys know, I’m very straightforward.”

McCarthy was ousted from his role as Chicago’s top cop in late 2015 in the fallout after the Laquan McDonald shooting, in which a former Chicago Police officer shot the African American teen 16 times. Video of the shooting, which was released due to a court order thanks to a lawsuit, sparked large protests and eventually led to a Department of Justice investigation into Chicago's police force.

McCarthy appeared on WLS
to talk about Attorney General Jeff Sessions decision to reverse course on previous DOJ recommendations involving federal oversight of the department, criticizing the report and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

“That report was completely politically motivated,” said McCarthy. “As you know I was not interviewed, and the A-G lied on national television saying I wasn’t available, which is nonsense. And the person who led the investigation for the city, Corporation Counsel Steve Patton, was the individual who hid the [Laquan McDonald] video.”

While McCarthy hasn’t openly mentioned challenging Emanuel before and dismissed the idea on Wednesday, he’s made media rounds a few times in recent months, often criticizing both the DOJ report and movements demanding police accountability. On WLS, he reiterated that sentiment.

“The problem in Chicago is not the police. It’s illegitimate government. It’s politics. It’s doing the same things that we’ve always done and expecting different results.”

Though McCarthy says "politics isn’t in his DNA," he did say he would support a challenger to take the 5th floor of City Hall away from Emanuel.

“I would support anybody who would start thinking about performance-based government, rather than politics,” he said. “Because that’s what we need in Chicago. There’s no measurement. There’s nobody holding anybody accountable.”