Now that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has gone against his political instincts by firing his larger-than-life police superintendent, Garry McCarthy, the mayor faces an even bigger political dilemma that could define his legacy, says the Chicago Sun-Times. He must find a worthy replacement for McCarthy without making worse racial tensions brought to a boil by the Laquan McDonald shooting video. The video played around the world of a white Chicago Police officer pumping 16 rounds into the body of the black teenager not only sealed McCarthy's fate. It also made the job of filling McCarthy's shoes that much more difficult.
Hispanic elected officials are likely to demand that the permanent job be awarded to First Deputy Police Superintendent John Escalante, who will serve as acting superintendent. Escalante already is a political flashpoint. McCarthy's decision to appoint him to replace retiring First Deputy Al Wysinger, an African American, infuriated the City Council's Black Caucus and triggered demands for McCarthy's ouster even before the McDonald video was made public. Hispanics may lobby for Hiram Grau, a former Chicago deputy superintendent and former state police director named by Emanuel to a five-member Task Force on Police Accountability. Having succeeded in forcing Emanuel's hand, black officials are certain to demand that McCarthy's replacement be an African American to restore public confidence between citizens and police in the black community shaken by the department's handling of the McDonald shooting.