Garry McCarthy: 'I would have recommended not releasing the Laquan McDonald video'

FOX 32 NEWS - Former Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy weighed in on the Laquan McDonald shooting video Monday, saying if it were up to him, things would have been handled differently

McCarthy was fired last December during the fallout from the McDonald case.

“If I was asked, and I was not, I would have recommended not releasing the Laquan McDonald video. For no other reason, then we don't release evidence in a criminal investigation,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy stepped into the Laquan McDonald controversy by telling a city club audience that releasing bodycam and dashcam videos will do little to establish trust in the police. He also said he doesn't believe Mayor Emanuel orchestrated an election year cover-up to prevent the release of the McDonald video.

“Conspiracy theories can be fun, right? JFK. Lincoln. Warren Commission. You name it. But that's simply not the case here. The mayor did not have the capacity to prevent that video from going out,” McCarthy said.

In the McDonald case, Jason Van Dyke was charged with murder, but not until the video of the shooting was released. McCarthy says there's way too much emphasis on investigating police, instead of investigating criminals, who are responsible for the increasing lawlessness on the streets. 

“If we keep blaming police for all of society's ills, in five years, we're going to still be having this exact same conversation,” McCarthy said.

Earlier Monday, lawyers for Van Dyke and the four officers accused of covering up his alleged misconduct appeared for the first time before the police board.

Superintendent Eddie Johnson has asked the police board to fire all five officers. None of them appeared at the hearing with their attorneys. Van Dyke's attorney says the proposed firings have troubled his client.

“This is very difficult for him. He was fine when it was just him that was looking at severe consequences, but when he sees fellow officers resigning and getting fired, it's been extremely difficult for him,” said Attorney Dan Herbert.

After the McDonald case, the city changed its policies and began releasing police videos.

Proponents say the transparency builds community trust and reduces police misconduct.

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