Lexington, Massachusetts, Jan. 2, 2016.
Today Dr. Jill Stein joined the growing majority of Chicagoans now calling for Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s resignation after the video tape of the brutal police slaying of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald became public following a recent court order for its release. “Rahm Emanuel has presided over years of extraordinary violence by the Chicago police. Now he is deeply implicated in the 400-day cover-up of a savage police killing, which enabled the Mayor’s 2015 re-election to proceed without the firestorm of protest the video has now unleashed.
Following his re-election, the Mayor himself gaveled through the City Council a $5 million dollar settlement that included silencing the McDonald family. His actions starkly embroil him in a police murder cover-up he either knowingly participated in, or was negligent for not knowing about. Sweeping murder under the rug is behavior we should associate with bygone Chicago Mafia, not the current Chicago mayor. All of this warrants Emanuel’s immediate departure from office, as well as a full investigation.”
Stein continued, “The McDonald tragedy points to the festering crisis of unaccountable police violence on Emanuel’s watch. In almost 400 police shootings investigated by the city’s Independent Police Review Authority since 2007, incredibly, only one was found to be unjustified.”
The role of Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former Chief of Staff, in tolerating police violence is a symptom of the broader partnership of Democrats and Republicans in a bipartisan assault on communities of color.
Stein noted, “Republican politicians make no bones about their odious bigotry. But while top Democrats sanction racist violence on the police force and fill jails as effectively as their Republican colleagues, Democrats count on votes from the very communities most devastated by the bipartisan police and prison state. Hence, some Democrats are obliged to issue occasional (or in some cases constant) noises of hypocritical drive-by concern”
“Another shameful example is the failure of Cleveland Democratic county prosecutors to indict police officers last week in the murder of Tamir Rice.” The 12-year-old boy, who was holding a toy gun, was shot by the police within seconds upon arriving at the scene. Neither officer administered first aid to Tamir after shooting him.
Before Democrat Eric Holder became Obama’s Attorney General, he was a DC Superior Court Judge and US District Attorney, where he sent thousands to prison for decades on petty drug charges while prosecuting few if any abusive cops. Obama’s current Attorney General Loretta Lynch played a similar role as US District Attorney for Brooklyn in the 1990s. Lynch, who listed “improving police morale” among her top priorities in office, is a longtime supporter of the Fraternal Order of Police, and strongly opposes any federal requirement that police report incidents of armed violence against civilians.
“Not only have the Democrats failed to take effective action against the epidemic of police killings of people of color, they actively collaborated with the Republicans to implement a program of mass incarceration of people of color. And they have consistently failed to embrace the programs needed to end racism and economic injustice. Black lives matter - but not to the two corporate parties,” added Stein. “Only the Green party and Green candidates stand consistently for rolling back the bipartisan project of the prison state and its out of control police. Only the Green Party and Green candidates refuse contributions from law enforcement unions, prison contractors and their PACS.
Stein finished by saying “Anybody, including Democrats, can shout the magic words that black lives matter. But among political parties only the Green Party is prepared to carry the people’s demands, to answer to the people, not the police or the one percent whom they serve. And this is just a first step towards racial justice - which must also redress glaring inequality in schools, employment and health care, as well as policing, courts, and prisons. Only then can we ensure that black lives truly matter.”