We can surmise that each had particular reasons. Mayor Emanuel was fighting for re-election in a tight race. Superintendent McCarthy wanted to keep his job. Ms. Alvarez needed the good will of the police union for her coming re-election campaign and probably wished to shield the police officers who bring her cases and testify in court.
None of that alters the fact that these actions have impeded the criminal justice system and, in the process, Chicago’s leaders allowed a first-degree murder suspect, now incarcerated pending bail, to remain free for over a year on the city’s payroll.
There is good reason to appoint an independent commission to investigate the conduct of these public servants. But frankly, at this point, who would trust Chicago’s political institutions or criminal justice system?
An investigation would create further delay in justice and distract our attention from the real issues at hand: the senseless death of a 17-year-old, and the systemic problems of excessive police violence and lack of accountability.
Rather than hold hearings, investigate and perhaps prosecute its leaders, the city of Chicago needs to restore trust. These officials no longer have the public’s confidence. They should resign.