Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was vacationing in Cuba this week, but his vacation has been cut short. After getting hit with the news of two African Americans being shot to death by a Chicago police officer, the Mayor decided to come home early.
A spokesperson for the mayor said that "he is cutting his family trip short so that he can continue the ongoing work of restoring accountability and trust in the Chicago Police Department."
Mayor Will Not Be Coming Home to an Easy Task
The mayor's Cuba trip started on Dec. 18, and he was set to return this Tuesday, but he has decided to come home on Saturday instead. The mayor will not come home to peaceful ground. The Chicago police have already been criticized for using what many say is too much force against its residents -- particularly its racial minority residents.
This most recent shooting happened early last Saturday. A 55-year-old black woman and a 19-year-old black man were shot to death by a Chicago officer. According to police reports, the woman was killed by accident while authorities were struggling with the younger man.
In late November this year, scandal hit Chicago when video of a fatal 2014 shooting was released. In that incident, police claimed they shot an African American teen after he lunged at them with a knife; however, the video does not show this to be true.
Killed Teenager Had Mental Health Issues
The young man who died in Saturday's shooting was 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier. His father contacted police after the teen -- who allegedly suffered from mental health problems -- threatened him with a baseball bat. Police say that the teen was being combative with them, which prompted the fatal shooting.
Police have apologized for inadvertently shooting 55-year-old Bettie Jones during the altercation.
This tragedy has added more fuel to the fire of protestors in the Black Lives Matter movement, and similar movements across the country. Protestors are seeking to bring attention to the problem of overly-violent police and the blatant, unnecessary and widespread use of deadly force by officers. They are seeking changes to the way police officers are trained and the type of force they are permitted to use in carrying out their duties.
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