Garry McCarthy says he would easily win Black vote

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Garry McCarthy

Crusader Staff Report

Former Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said he would not have any trouble winning the Black vote in his campaign for mayor.

McCarthy made the comment during an interview with CBS2 Chicago. McCarthy is about to announce his bid for mayor in a race that will put him against his old boss, incumbent Rahm Emanuel, who fired McCarthy in 2015. McCarthy’s termination came one week after a video was released showing officer Jason Van Dyke shooting 17-year old Laquan McDonald.

At the end of his rocky term, Chicago’s Black Caucus had called on the mayor to fire McCarthy as trust, transparency and relations in the Black community continued to decline with cases of racial profiling and accusations of police brutality. Once an ally to Emanuel, McCarthy was eventually fired after the mayor said he became a “distraction.”

Despite his unfavorable image in the Black community, McCarthy told CBS2 Chicago that he would do well in winning the Black vote in the mayoral election on February 26, 2019.

“I would do a lot better in the African-American community than many people think, because they know how hard I was working to prevent them from getting murdered,” he says.

In a statement Friday, March 16, McCarthy said, “It’s no secret that for the last several months literally thousands of Chicagoans have asked me to run for mayor. I have taken those calls to heart because

I know the city is badly in need of genuine leadership and real change. At some point next week, I will be making my final decision and sharing that with my supporters and the citizens of Chicago.”

McCarthy called the U.S. Justice Department’s investigation of the Chicago Police Department “nonsense.” The report found the nation’s second largest police force to have systemic civil rights violations and said officers regularly have used excessive force and discriminated against minorities. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said, during the investigation, the feds reached out to McCarthy for his input, but he was “not available.”

Emanuel is a vulnerable incumbent who has been accused of keeping the McDonald video under wraps as he sought reelection in the 2014 mayoral race.

Currently, Emanuel is under pressure to enter a consent decree to implement reforms in the police department under court oversight. McCarthy’s views clashes with those of activists and outgoing Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who filed a lawsuit after Emanuel backpedaled on promises that will enter a consent decree before U.S. Attorney General left office in January 2016.

In a past interview with CBS2, McCarthy said he is concerned over the increased murder rate since his firing.

“Overall, crime was down 40 percent. And now, there’s not a safe part of this city. There were carjackings on my block in River North. This has had a huge impact. And hundreds more people have died in Chicago. In the two years since I was fired, from Dec. 1, 2015 to Dec. 1, 2017, there were 1,401 Chicagoans killed, or people killed in Chicago,” he said.

McCarthy’s announcement was reportedly timed to coincide with Emanuel’s trip to Puerto Rico where he is expected to review recovery efforts there after Hurricane Maria.

According to Illinois Sunshine campaign records, McCarthy has raised a total of $34,872.76 from private donors. Emanuel, his biggest opponent has raised nearly $2.2 million.

Former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas is considering a bid for mayor as well. Another critic of Emanuel, former CPS principal Troy LaRaviere has a campaign website in place in his bid for City Hall. Businessman Willie Wilson is expected to officially announce his mayoral campaign March 26 at Chicago State University.

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