The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC) is encouraged by Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s decision to fire Chicago Police Department superintendent Garry McCarthy in the aftermath of the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in October 2014. We are still disturbed by a similar shooting incident involving 25 year-old unarmed African American Ronald Johnson III, also in October 2014. We are deeply saddened by the violence perpetrated against these young men and extend our most heartfelt condolences to Laquan’s and Ronald’s families.We implore Chicago police officers to utilize any opportunity to de-escalate these types of confrontations in order to avoid deadly assaults on unarmed citizens. Whereas the decision to charge Officer Jason Van Dyke with murder will serve justice, we ask for similar action against Office George Hernandez.
CIOGC is committed to justice and further emphasizes that those officers must be charged with obstruction of justice and should be subjected to appropriate disciplinary action. Given the longstanding pattern of brutality against African Americans and other minorities by the Chicago Police Department, it is time now for the establishment of a Civilian Review Board that will be answerable only to the public. Furthermore, steps need to be taken to protect vulnerable and at-risk populations, especially our youth who would benefit greatly from alternatives to incarceration.
“Since the Regional Juvenile Justice Council legislation was already passed and signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner earlier this year, CIOGC is specifically asking President Preckwinkle to provide support for the implementation of a Juvenile Justice Council for Cook County,” added Dr. Bambade Shakoor-Abdullah of cMECCA, a CIOGC member organization.
“Our youth are to be commended for their peaceful protests following the video release, and we appreciate the honorable law enforcement officers who were present to protect the rights of these young people to peacefully protest the injustices against Black lives,” stated CIOGC Chair Dr. Mohammed Kaiseruddin. He further added that, “To regain public trust all those responsible for this unacceptable delay in seeking justice for Laquan McDonald and Ronald Johnson should be held accountable. Additionally, we need to strengthen our juvenile justice system in order to create healthier communities.