The U.S. Justice Department is launching a civil rights probe into the Chicago Police Department in the wake of the police shooting death Laquan McDonald and the subsequent handling of the case.
The Justice Department, which is already investigating the McDonald shooting, will begin a broad investigation into the CPD's practices this week. Police departments in Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri are among those that have faced similar Justice Department civil rights investigations.
Many community leaders and elected officials, including Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), have called on the Justice Department to investigate the CPD after last month's court-ordered release of the dash-cam video showing Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke shooting 17-year-old McDonald in October 2014. Van Dyke was charged with first degree murder in McDonald's death just hours before the dash-cam video was released.
Last week, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel stated support for a federal probe into the CPD after seeming to initially speak in opposition of such an investigation.
In a statement Sunday evening, an Emanuel spokesman said the administration "will let the Department of Justice address what action they will or will not choose to take, but as was made clear last week, we welcome the engagement of the Department of Justice as we work to restore trust in our police department and improve our system of police accountability."