Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy is expected to testify before aldermen today, after most of the board's Black Caucus called on Mayor Rahm Emanuel to fire his top cop, reports the Chicago Tribune. The request came the same day McCarthy announced a command shakeup in which the department's highest-ranking African American retired and was replaced by a Hispanic. McCarthy, a brash New Yorker, has angered aldermen virtually since his arrival in 2011, and there have been rumors about his impending dismissal seemingly every other week for years.
The call for McCarthy's ouster was made against the backdrop of Chicago seeing a year-over-year rise in shootings and homicides. Emanuel has been making changes in his cabinet as he starts his second term. In addition, the mayor is asking the City Council later this month to vote for a series of tax hikes, so aldermen have a little more leverage to speak out than they normally do. All of which leads to whispers at City Hall that perhaps Emanuel is using the aldermen to send a public message to McCarthy. For the record, the administration released a statement in support of McCarthy. Today, McCarthy is expected to be asked about the spike in street violence, the continued high levels of police overtime and his plan to shift 319 cops now on desk duty to the streets.