Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel spoke in front of the Chicago City Council during which he got choked up as he addressed police accountability and justice and offered an apology for the shooting of Laquan McDonald by a police officer in Oct. 2014.
"We can either be defined by what we have failed to do," Emanuel offered at the opening, "or what we choose to do... We need an honest reckoning of what went wrong, not just in this instance, but over decades."
In speaking about the incident that has sparked community outrage and protest since the shocking video footage of the shooting was finally released, Emanel said:
"I take responsibility for what happened because it happened on my watch. If we're going to fix it, I want you to understand it's my responsibility with you. But if we're also going to begin the healing process, the first step in that journey is my step, and I'm sorry."
Unfortunately, Emanuel’s “heartfelt” apology seems to have been too little too late as protests erupted just hours after he spoke calling for his resignation.
Protesters surrounded City Hall and flooded the surrounding streets demanding not only Emanuel’s resignation but state’s attorney Anita Alvarez's as well.
The delay in releasing the video of McDonald's shooting and the 400 days that Alvarez took to file charges against the officer who shot him have been some of the main factors that have put the city in turmoil, ABC News reports.
All of this comes just days after the police superintendent stepped down, more disturbing videos involving Chicago police misconduct were released and the Department of Justice announced an investigation.
Emanuel hasn’t offered to step down from his position, but he definitely knows he is not in a good place with the community.
After this morning's speech, some of the aldermen talked about how genuine Emanuel seemed while owning up to his role in these city-wide issues and McDonald’s death.
One of them, however, wasn’t so moved.
“The mayor knows that he’s in trouble, said Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa to the Chicao Sun-Times. “That’s why he put this together. … This was a very expensive press event. And what I want to know is, how much did it cost in city tax money to get all of this staff into this room? I want to know how much it cost in terms of the police,” he added.
“This was a very well put together mea culpa. It was a very controlled message. But, until the mayor comes forward and actually allows us to dig for the truth, it’s just going to be too little too late. Unless we know what transpired for the last thirteen months, how can we honestly move forward as a city and say, ‘This is going to get us to the next stage.’?”
One thing's for sure ... whether his act was authentic or calculated, Emanuel is certainly fighting tooth and nail to stay in office.
Watch Emanuel's full 37 minute speech below:
Banner Photo Credit: Twitter @HuffPostPol