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Laquan McDonald’s relative blasted for supporting Rahm Emanuel’s Ambassador nomination

Reverend Marvin Hunter, the great uncle of murdered teenager Laquan McDonald, is under fire for sending a letter to Congress that supports former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s nomination for Ambassador to Japan.

The criticism came a day before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington began its hearings on Emanuel’s nomination on the 7th anniversary of McDonald’s murder by Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke on October 20, 2014. Van Dyke is serving fewer than seven years in jail after he was convicted of second-degree murder in 2018 for shooting McDonald 16 times.

Emanuel remains widely accused of covering up the murder while he campaigned in the Black community during a heated runoff mayoral race against Jesús “Chuy” Garcia in 2015. Emanuel decided not to seek a third term amid calls for his resignation.

Three years later, President Joe Biden in August sparked heavy criticism from progressives after he announced Emanuel’s nomination for the Ambassadorship. With activists turning up the heat on the national stage, Emanuel’s nomination remains in doubt as he scrambles for support from both Senators and elected officials across the country.

But many were shocked and offended after the Washington Post published a story that said Hunter whose niece, Tina Hunter, is Laquan McDonald’s mother, wrote a letter on September 11 to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, expressing his support of Emanuel’s nomination. The Post said it obtained a copy of the letter from the committee’s chairman.

The Post said Hunter signed the letter, which reads, “I realize that my position on this nomination might come as a surprise to some,” Hunter wrote. “I may even be attacked for speaking up. However, I am a man of faith. I believe in what the scripture says about righteous judgment and looking into a person’s heart. I have taken the time to get to know Rahm Emanuel. We have listened to each other, truly heard each other. I understand the character of the man, and that is why I support this nomination.”

The Post also said after speaking with Hunter on Monday, October 18, Hunter indicated Emanuel does not have the support of “everyone” in the McDonald family at the moment. The newspaper also reported that during the interview, Hunter said he would provide further comment once the family “was in agreement.”

For that reason, activists remain disappointed that Biden nominated Emanuel for a public position after he tried to suppress a video of McDonald’s murder when he was mayor of Chicago.

While some Democrat and Republican senators have publicly expressed support for Emanuel, many more remain silent as the trial of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia renews racial tensions across the country.

Activists from RootsAction, a national coalition of organizations, say they have sent letters to every U.S. Senator, urging them not to confirm Emanuel as Ambassador to Japan.

At the rally Tuesday at CPD headquarters, protestors held up signs that said “Reject Rahm.”

Delmarie Cobb, a political strategist, was one of several people at the rally who expressed disappointment in elected officials who support Emanuel.

“Joe Biden would not be president of the United States if it weren’t for the Black community and the Black vote. We saved his candidacy when he was running for president for the third time in his life. So, the whole notion that you can have on one hand the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act and then on the other hand nominate someone who is the face of a police coverup and murder is just unbelievable to me, and then say you support the Black community and that suddenly America is woke. America is not woke. The only time America is woke is when we protest, and then they’re woke for a minute and turn over and go back to sleep.”

Activist Will Calloway, who was credited with persuading a Cook County judge to release the video said, “It disappoints me, it saddens me in my heart that the Democrats are even entertaining something like this. Just because you represent a certain political party doesn’t mean you have our best interests at heart. We’re here today to say that we’re not broken. We’re here today to say that we’ve gathered collectively, even stronger than ever.”

Kina Collins, a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, Illinois 7th District, spoke at the rally.

“For 400 days, Rahm Emanuel tried to cover up the truth of what happened to Laquan McDonald. For 400 days we marched, organized, and protested for the release of the police dashcam footage, because we know that too often, police lie when their own careers are at stake. And for 400 days, that officer escaped justice, because Emanuel was more concerned with his own re-election than he was with justice for a child murdered on his watch. This is a complete slap in the face to Black America.”

. “I don’t want to get in the heat of a lot of it right now…I just want to stay out of it and let the dust settle.”

During a brief interview with the Crusader last month, Hunter said he was “OK” with Emanuel’s Ambassadorship nomination to Japan, but he did not say that he would write a letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in support of the disgraced Chicago mayor.

At a rally in front of the Chicago headquarters on Tuesday, October 19, cheers erupted as Eric Russell, president of The Tree of Life Justice League, blasted Hunter for supporting Emanuel, whose administration gave a $5 million settlement to the family of Mc- Donald in a deal that was heavily criticized.

“Shame on you Pastor Hunter. Shame on you Pastor Hunter,” Russell said. “We do not begrudge the family receiving compensation. We did not forget about that family receiving $5 million like a thief in the night with a non-circumvent disclosure agreement. But you set Black folks back when you co-signed the architect who designed the killing of our children. How could you write a damn letter, Reverend Hunter? Laquan McDonald was flesh of your flesh, blood of your blood. But we know all skin folk ain’t kinfolk.”

Citing multiple sources, the story in The Post also said that Emanuel in private remarks to Senate offices has defended his record and pointed to support from the Chicago Urban League as well as McDonald’s family as demonstrated in a letter from an uncle. The Post said Emanuel may have been referring to Andrea Zopp, the former president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League who later became Emanuel’s deputy mayor before her $350,000-a-year job as CEO of World Business Chicago.

The Post story said the letter will be released one day before Emanuel’s confirmation hearing before 12 Democrat and Republican senators serving on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The Crusader was unable to provide details of Emanuel’s hearing by press time Wednesday, October 20. The Post story also said it obtained a copy of a letter from Alderman Jason Ervin, the chairman of the Chicago Black Caucus, and eight Black aldermen who support Emanuel. The story only identified Ervin from the letter, which was dated October 8.

“As leaders of the Chicago City Council, having worked alongside Mayor Rahm Emanuel during his eight years of service to the City of

Chicago — a city with its own spot on the international stage — we are certain that his service as Ambassador to Japan will provide America with a committed and loyal ally,” the group wrote in the letter.

Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth support Emanuel’s nomination, as well as Mayor Lori Lightfoot, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn, whose endorsement of Biden sparked a campaign that led Black voters across the country to save Biden’s faltering presidential campaign at the polls in 2020.

For that reason, activists remain disappointed that Biden nominated Emanuel for a public position after he tried to suppress a video of McDonald’s murder when he was mayor of Chicago.

While some Democrat and Republican senators have publicly expressed support for Emanuel, many more remain silent as the trial of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia renews racial tensions across the country.

Activists from RootsAction, a national coalition of organizations, say they have sent letters to every U.S. Senator, urging them not to confirm Emanuel as Ambassador to Japan.

At the rally Tuesday at CPD headquarters, protestors held up signs that said “Reject Rahm.”

Delmarie Cobb, a political strategist, was one of several people at the rally who expressed disappointment in elected officials who support Emanuel.

“Joe Biden would not be president of the United States if it weren’t for the Black community and the Black vote. We saved his candidacy when he was running for president for the third time in his life. So, the whole notion that you can have on one hand the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act and then, on the other hand, nominate someone who is the face of a police coverup and murder is just unbelievable to me, and then say you support the Black community and that suddenly America is woke. America is not woke. The only time America is woke is when we protest, and then they’re woke for a minute and turn over and go back to sleep.”

Activist Will Calloway, who was credited with persuading a Cook County judge to release the video said, “It disappoints me, it saddens me in my heart that the Democrats are even entertaining something like this. Just because you represent a certain political party doesn’t mean you have our best interests at heart. We’re here today to say that we’re not broken. We’re here today to say that we’ve gathered collectively, even stronger than ever.”

Kina Collins, a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, Illinois 7th District, spoke at the rally.

“For 400 days, Rahm Emanuel tried to cover up the truth of what happened to Laquan McDonald. For 400 days we marched, organized, and protested for the release of the police dashcam footage, because we know that too often, police lie when their own careers are at stake. And for 400 days, that officer escaped justice, because Emanuel was more concerned with his own re-election than he was with justice for a child murdered on his watch. This is a complete slap in the face to Black America.”

 

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