The eight-page application for the open job of Chicago police superintendent, due tomorrow, makes clear the challenges that will face the next leader of the 12,000-officer force, who will inherit a department facing a federal investigation into its practices, an impassioned protest movement, a recent leap in an already high homicide rate and the political turmoil surrounding Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the New York Times reports. “I would say it's the most challenging job, police chief job, in the country right now,” said Chuck Wexler of the Police Executive Research Forum, which studies law enforcement policies. “You've got community issues. You have internal issues. You have a Department of Justice investigation. You've got political issues. You've got all the dynamics. You've got a combustible mixture.”
The job came open after Emanuel fired Superintendent Garry McCarthy. The search for his replacement comes as officials try to regain the public's trust after dash camera footage was released in November, showing the 2014 police shooting of Laquan McDonald, a black 17-year-old. Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder. The release of the footage touched off protests and drew attention to long-frayed relations between the Chicago force and African-American residents. Today, more footage may be released, showing the 2013 shooting of Cedrick Chatman, who was carrying a small box that officers said they believed was a gun. City officials, who had for months opposed releasing the footage, reversed course yesterday and told a federal judge they were “working to strike the right balance between being as transparent as possible and protecting the judicial process.” Emanuel has borne much criticism, and his difficulties with blacks haven't abated. Several African-American pastors have announced plans to boycott his annual breakfast in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. tomorrow.