Chicago Mayor Emanuel apologizes for police problems, promises reform

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Laquan McDonald Shooting: 'I'm Sorry'
Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Laquan McDonald Shooting: 'I'm Sorry'

CHICAGO (Reuters) -- Mayor Rahm Emanuel, under heavy criticism for his handling of a police shooting that resulted in the death of a black teen, apologized on Wednesday for problems with the police department and promised reform.

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See more of the backlash and protests in Chicago:

In an emotional speech with his voice occasionally breaking, the mayor of the nation's third-largest city reiterated reform steps he has already promised. These include setting up a task force to review police accountability, the appointment of a new head of the agency that handles police misconduct and searching for a new police superintendent.

He aimed particular criticism at the "code of silence" that keeps police officers from reporting misconduct by fellow officers.

Number of People Killed by Police by State in 2015 Graphiq

Emanuel's speech comes after two weeks of protests in Chicago following the release of a 2014 police squad car dashboard video showing police officer Jason Van Dyke shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times. Van Dyke, who is white, was charged with first-degree murder late last month.

High-profile killings of black men by mainly white police officers in U.S. cities have prompted a national debate and protests about the use of excessive force by police.

The U.S. Justice Department said on Monday it will launch a civil rights investigation into the city's police department, examining its use of force, including deadly force, among other issues.

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Emanuel: 'Respect Is a Two-Way Street'
Emanuel: 'Respect Is a Two-Way Street'

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