Is Chicago Major Lori Lightfoot going back on one of the biggest campaign promises? While she was running as a candidate, Lightfoot vowed that if she was major she would get the city to release the records from its investigation into how the Police Department handled Officer Jason Van Dyke’s shooting of Black teenager Laquan McDonald.
The city’s inspector general Joseph Ferguson consistently has warned that “the full story” about the shooting has still not been made public and is still pushing the city to release the records.
When Lightfoot was a mayoral candidate she agreed, even telling WBEZ
“it’s absolutely critical” the evidence be released.
But as mayor, Lightfoot has denied an open-records requests for the material due to legal restrictions but pledging to try and get those restrictions removed.
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“She agrees that documents implicating a matter of significant public policy, such as these, should be made available in a timely manner and in accordance with the law,” said Lightfoot’s office in a written statement.
“The mayor’s intention to release them has not wavered,” the statement continued. “She has directed her team to work as quickly as possible to bring forward changes to the law that can allow for greater transparency on high-profile cases like this one, and whenever the public has a right to know.”
Many want Litefoot to release the information now. There was even a recent Showtime documentary broadcast about the shooting called “16 Shots.”
“Ferguson’s investigation, a probe that lasted much of 2016, led him to recommend dismissal of 11 police officers, including Chief of Detectives Eugene Roy and Deputy Chief David McNaughton,” WBEZ reported.
Ferguson wants the city to release the records because while Van Dyke was sentenced to prison for the 2014 shooting three officers charged criminally with covering up for him were acquitted.
“They should be released,” Ferguson said in a written statement. “The sooner the better.”