In Chicago, distrust toward mayor has turned ‘personal’
CHICAGO — Mayor Rahm Emanuel cut short a family vacation this past week and returned to a city in crisis: On the North Side, more than a dozen people stood outside his house, hurling insults. On the West Side, a close aide was punched and kicked while attending a prayer vigil for a police shooting victim. And all week long, there were protesters, haunting one of Emanuel’s biggest political donors, haranguing his police force, beating a papier-mâché likeness of his face at City Hall.
More than a month has passed since a judge forced Emanuel (D) and other city officials to release a graphic video of a white Chicago police officer shooting a black teenager 16 times.But public anger over the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald in October 2014 has not dissipated. Instead, it has grown bitter and more personal.
“Oh, it’s personal, all right. We’re making it personal,” yelled Ja’Mal Green, 20, a former Emanuel supporter who spent hours in bone-cold weather on the sidewalk outside the mayor’s spacious Ravenswood home, mocking him and urging him to resign.
The protests reflect frustration with chronic problems Emanuel inherited in Chicago, a city long plagued by police brutality, failing schools, rampant gang violence and dire *finances. But as Emanuel enters his second term, critics say he has deepened distrust in City Hall through a string of scandals affecting his administration, a lack of transparency and his abrasive personal style.