Emanuel Lays Low At Mayors’ Meeting, Finally Discusses, Policing, Oversight


As cities grapple with public outrage over police shootings in black neighborhoods. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel “loomed like a specter” over a gathering of 300 mayors in Washington, D.C., yesterday, says the Washington Post. At the U.S. Conference of Mayors, where Emanuel was scheduled to speak, TV crews roved through a hotel lobby searching for the embattled mayor. One protester interrupted a morning news conference that Emanuel didn't attend by holding up a “#ResignRahm” sign, refusing to budge as the other mayors awkwardly tried to continue by talking around her. Emanuel didn’t show at one panel where he was scheduled to speak. Other mayors proceeded without him. Emanuel has come to embody the thorny problems facing all big-city mayors: how to restore public trust, how to reform police and to handle exploding racial tensions. Mayors said they were just as eager as the TV crews to hear Emanuel speak, some out of “morbid curiosity, like onlookers of a train crash, others in search of lessons on what went wrong and how to avoid ending up in similar hot water.”

When Emanuel finally did materialize on a panel about police reform and community trust. He talked about gang violence, community-based policing, experiments with embedding federal officers in local precincts and the importance of education in addressing systemic issues in poor neighborhoods where many shootings take place. “The trust factor is not just a goal — it's a key ingredient to effective community policing,” he said. “The public has to know there's legitimate oversight, it's certain and it's not biased, and the truth is, we're working at that — our city, other cities — because there's a lot of judgment that the oversight has been lax and there's not an accounting system.”

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