Did Rahm personally quash the Laquan McDonald video?

posted at 2:41 pm on January 7, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

What did Rahm know, and when did he know it? The Daily Beast’s Justin Glawe finds an answer in e-mails provided to him that shows Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel knew what the video depicted in the Laquan McDonald shooting. According to Glawe, Emanuel knew enough to have his attorneys press the McDonald family to keep the video locked away for several years — but settled for long enough to win his re-election bid on April 7, 2015:

Emanuel said last month that Stephen Patton, Chicago’s corporation counsel, briefed him “towards the end of March” about what the dashcam video showed and about the proposed $5 million settlement with McDonald’s estate. After that briefing, Patton’s second-in-command, Thomas Platt, drafted settlement language to keep the dashcam video hidden for at least several years, according to emails reviewed by The Daily Beast (PDF).

Michael Robbins, an attorney for the McDonald estate, balked at the demand.

“The provision as drafted, that we maintain the confidentiality, of the materials—principally the dash-cam-video—until the criminal charges are concluded, which could be in effect for years, is entirely unreasonable,” he wrote to Platt on April 6. “Nor was any such broad sweeping confidentiality provision discussed during our meetings.” …

Emanuel has maintained since McDonald’s death that he has never seen the dashcam video, but the emails prove the mayor knew exactly what the footage showed when city lawyers negotiated a deal that would at least delay the video’s release. Attorneys for McDonlad’s estate sent Platt screenshots of the video and a detailed description:

“After Laquan immediately spun to the ground, graphic puffs of smoke from ricochet shots establishes that Officer Van Dyke continued to fire his weapon for approximately 16 seconds after Mr. McDonald laid helplessly in the street.”

The e-mails show that the attorneys representing the McDonald family agreed on the day after the election to keep the video from emerging publicly. As Glawe notes, a week later the city council approved a $5 million settlement with no debate.

This doesn’t reflect particularly well on the McDonald family, but Emanuel has by far the biggest problem from these e-mails. It’s also not the only time when it has become clear that Emanuel’s administration has tried to keep evidence of police abuses from becoming public knowledge. Today’s Chicago Sun-Times editorial scolds Emanuel for this pattern of secrecy and dishonesty:

The reality this time was a ruling Monday by a federal judge that a lawyer for the city intentionally withheld evidence in a civil suit against two police officers accused of wrongfully shooting a man to death in 2011. Another lawyer for the city, the judge concluded, “failed to make a reasonable inquiry,” as required by court rules, to search for that evidence — a recording of a police radio dispatch.

U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang has cited and rebuked five city attorneys within the last year for withholding evidence in two separate police misconduct cases.

This, to our thinking, amounts to a big new development in Chicago’s police scandal, like a fire jumping from one house to the next. If before a central question was whether a “blue code of silence” protects misconduct by the police, the judge’s rulings raise the possibility that the code of silence reaches into City Hall’s Law Department.

Emanuel on Tuesday said there is “zero tolerance” for any city lawyer who fails to uphold professional standards, and he ordered the city’s top attorney, corporation counsel Stephen Patton, to make sure no city attorney ever again conceals evidence.

Glawe’s exposé makes that a little difficult to swallow now. Not only did the Laquan McDonald shooting video get hidden, Emanuel’s own attorneys were fighting tooth and nail to keep it from ever coming out — at least while Rahm was in office.

Right now, Chicagoans can do little about it until the next election. Perhaps if the Illinois state legislature passes the bill allowing for recall elections, that might change. Or, perhaps Emanuel will do the ethical thing and resign. So far, though, there seems to be little evidence of ethics in Emanuel’s track record as mayor.

That should pose a difficult conundrum for Hillary Clinton, Rahm’s longtime friend and advisor to both Hillary and Bill. What will she say when the media asks her about this attempt to quash evidence right before Rahm’s re-election? Oh, wait, silly me … Hillary’s a Democrat. The media only holds Republicans accountable for questionable behavior from other members of their party.


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Comments

Did Rahm personally quash the Laquan McDonald video?

Yes, next question.

Rogue on January 7, 2016 at 2:42 PM

Of course he did!

Pragmatic on January 7, 2016 at 2:44 PM

Sure looks like he did. That hush money didn’t work out as planned. It’ll be interesting to see how hot his seat becomes. Will the Blacks rise up against him?

major dad on January 7, 2016 at 2:47 PM

Did Rahm personally quash the Laquan McDonald video?

The ends justifies the means.

In other words, yes.

Athos on January 7, 2016 at 2:47 PM

Hard for me to feel sorry for people in Chicago when most will pull the D lever no matter who’s name is next to it and what their wrap sheet is.

GADinSB on January 7, 2016 at 2:47 PM

Rahm and the Clintons have been joined at the hip for decades.

myiq2xu on January 7, 2016 at 2:48 PM

Hillary/Rahm — 2016

The predicament both parties are in is tons of fun.

Schadenfreude on January 7, 2016 at 2:50 PM

“At this point, what difference does it make?”

Saverio on January 7, 2016 at 2:51 PM

Today’s Chicago Sun-Times editorial scolds Emanuel for this pattern of secrecy and dishonesty:

HA HA HA HA HA! “Scolds”

Why aren’t they calling for his resignation?

(Reminder: The media is THE enemy)

TheMadHessian on January 7, 2016 at 2:52 PM

https://www.instagram.com/p/BAPvZ-1GhbP/

Schadenfreude on January 7, 2016 at 2:52 PM

Are there any provisions in Illinois law to force a recall of him? If so, I expect it is coming soon.

Johnnyreb on January 7, 2016 at 2:53 PM

You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that, it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.
Rahm Emanuel

birdwatcher on January 7, 2016 at 2:53 PM

Chicagoans can do little about it until the next election

I think they could do a lot to make life miserable for the mayor. But, they voted for a political hack to be mayor twice, they got what they deserved.

major dad on January 7, 2016 at 2:54 PM

As Glawe notes, a week later the city council approved a $5 million settlement with no debate.

#whatareblacklivesworth

antipc on January 7, 2016 at 2:54 PM

Snake to the bitten, dying boy: “You knew what I was when you picked me up.”

Marcola on January 7, 2016 at 2:57 PM

Rahm and the Clintons have been joined at the hip for decades.
myiq2xu on January 7, 2016 at 2:48 PM

THANX for the appetite suppressant… helps me keep my New Years resolution!

Marcola on January 7, 2016 at 2:59 PM

Emanuel on Tuesday said there is “zero tolerance” for any city lawyer who fails to uphold professional standards, and he ordered the city’s top attorney, corporation counsel Stephen Patton, to make sure no city attorney ever again conceals evidence.

Daaaaaaammmmmmmnnnnn. A mayor, a criminal, a hypocrite, and a comedian all rolled into one.

antipc on January 7, 2016 at 2:59 PM

Perhaps if the Illinois state legislature passes the bill allowing for recall elections

Ed, that wasn’t even worth the keystrokes to type. I hope you have some sort of speech-to-text dictation system.

Marcola on January 7, 2016 at 3:02 PM

But doesn’t Rahm kind of run on the police being the bad guys? I bet the people of Chicago believe he did it for the best possible motives (no, I can’t imagine what those motives are) and McDonald family deserves all the money they can get.

Cindy Munford on January 7, 2016 at 3:04 PM

Rahm buying votes…

JoeHanson on January 7, 2016 at 3:05 PM

OT

What has the Left worries silly, and the right too.

Schadenfreude on January 7, 2016 at 3:09 PM

So far, though, there seems to be little evidence of ethics in Emanuel’s track record as mayor.

….he’s a Democrat…nuff said…

Pelosi Schmelosi on January 7, 2016 at 3:09 PM

Like Todd Aiken and the republicans, every Democrat should have to justify Rahm’s behavior in this scenario.

Deafdog on January 7, 2016 at 3:11 PM

Hmm, the cop involved is now charged with murder. if convicted of any crime, it seems to me Rahm could be charged with the crime of concealing evidence. And go to jail. Which seems to be a tradition with Illinois politicians.

rbj on January 7, 2016 at 3:12 PM

“Did Rahm personally quash the Laquan McDonald video?”

Yes, why do you want to know?

patch on January 7, 2016 at 3:13 PM

It seems odd that the IL sunshine laws would allow the government to strike a deal (consummated with cash, no less) to keep a public record from becoming public.

Maybe that’s allowable under the law. If it is, that should be remedied because the purpose of sunshine laws isn’t to give litigants a bargaining chip in negotiations with the state. Instead, they’re to maintain – you know – government transparency.

If that’s not legal, then someone should be going to prison.

Atlantian on January 7, 2016 at 3:14 PM

Time to clean out the filth in Chicago

BigSven on January 7, 2016 at 3:14 PM

…h/t Ed Driscoll and Iowahawk…


Democrat Urban Monopolies

Pelosi Schmelosi on January 7, 2016 at 3:14 PM

It’s ridiculous apparently how often police lie in police reports. Make you wonder how many times they lie when video isn’t available. The worst thing about it is that even the supposed “good ones” still back up officers like the one who murdered McDonald in the report and/or don’t speak out.

proverbs427 on January 7, 2016 at 3:19 PM

rbj on January 7, 2016 at 3:12 PM

Did I misunderstand, did he keep the video from the prosecutor or the public or both?

Cindy Munford on January 7, 2016 at 3:19 PM

Of course that corrupt weasel Rahm knew about the video. That’s why he and the corrupt police/DA system covered it up.

proverbs427 on January 7, 2016 at 3:21 PM

HA HA HA HA HA! “Scolds”

Why aren’t they calling for his resignation?

(Reminder: The media is THE enemy)

TheMadHessian on January 7, 2016 at 2:52 PM

Because there is no critical media in Chicago. They’re all too afraid of “losing access”. Decades under Daleys will do that to you.

Are there any provisions in Illinois law to force a recall of him? If so, I expect it is coming soon.

Johnnyreb on January 7, 2016 at 2:53 PM

No, and any provisions created now would be ruled ex-post-facto by the corrupt state Supreme Court.

Rahm’s not going anywhere. He’ll be reelected next time around, too. IT’S CHICAGO.

playblu on January 7, 2016 at 3:33 PM

What will she say when the media asks her about this attempt to quash evidence right before Rahm’s re-election? Oh, wait, silly me … Hillary’s a Democrat. The media only holds Republicans accountable for questionable behavior from other members of their party.

This. They’re not going to ask Clinton about it. The excuse will be that she had nothing to do with it so why should they ask her.

tkc882 on January 7, 2016 at 3:33 PM

Uhhhh, Rahm is a Chicago Democrat, high -ranking Obama staffer, Palestinian. That should be as bullet-proof as they come. What in the hell did he do to piss off the machine that this story isn’t squashed. FFS, Hillary exposed thousands of classified emails and sold out the state department for personal gain, yet she is the frontrunner. Obama is running the most corrupt administration in history, and is loved. But Rahm is facing the boot over a video?

tdarrington on January 7, 2016 at 3:39 PM

Wow, the most disturbing part of this to me is the family agreeing to be quiet about political corruption so they can get that lottery payment.

If I knew the police did that to my son there is no way I would shut up. There is no amount of money to keep me quiet. And I’m not rich by any monetary definition.

I would have made it mandatory it be released 2 weeks before the election. National news.

Let’s face it, that “D” next to Emanuel’s name is the same thing as a media shield. The media will never suggest he resign. Better a crook than a Republican, they believe.

goflyers on January 7, 2016 at 3:49 PM

How is it the Justice Dept. got so deeply involved in Ferguson but haven’t dropped the hammer for this? This is pure obstruction of justice with a bribery component.

DanMan on January 7, 2016 at 3:49 PM

I’m surprised the family didn’t deposit that check, and then go directly to the media.

“Hey, there’s a video of our son being shot multiple times and the Mayor is hiding it……….”

mjs28c on January 7, 2016 at 3:58 PM

If I knew the police did that to my son there is no way I would shut up. There is no amount of money to keep me quiet. And I’m not rich by any monetary definition.

goflyers on January 7, 2016 at 3:49 PM

You may not be rich, but I suspect you’re not poor probably in the same way that this kid’s family is likely poor. If you were that poor and someone said: Here are two doors. Behind door #1 is years, if not decades of grueling and emotionally charged litigation where at the end you may or may not come out with anything. But, you’ll probably get to distribute the video.

Door #2 is a $5M check, tax free (wrongful death settlements are generally tax free in most states, and the IRS follows whatever the state does in each case) and you can have your check at close of business today. BUT, you may not get to distribute the video.

The VAST majority of people who live on less than $25K a year (or live purely on government assistance) would take the certainty and immediacy of Door #2.

Atlantian on January 7, 2016 at 4:07 PM

Hard for me to feel sorry for people in Chicago when most will pull the D lever no matter who’s name is next to it and what their wrap sheet is.

GADinSB on January 7, 2016 at 2:47 PM

Yep, and the same with NY, MD, and CA cities with progressives killing each other.

tej on January 7, 2016 at 4:12 PM

Dems don’t care when their representatives are dishonest (they assume that); they just don’t like it when they get caught.

PackerBronco on January 7, 2016 at 4:22 PM

Another leftie traitor

Some of the largest and most influential trade unions in the country are calling out Democrats for boosting guest worker programs and open borders policies.

Schadenfreude on January 7, 2016 at 4:32 PM

scolds Emanuel for this pattern of secrecy and dishonesty:

Really? A Clinton crony guilty of secrecy and dishonesty? Nooooooooo!!!!!!

jnelchef on January 7, 2016 at 4:54 PM

I think they could do a lot to make life miserable for the mayor. But, they voted for a political hack to be mayor twice, they got what they deserved.

major dad on January 7, 2016 at 2:54 PM

And by “twice” of course you mean “every election for the past 75 years”.

Lance Corvette on January 7, 2016 at 5:45 PM

A Clinton and Obama crony. Neither can throw him under the bus. He knows too much.

Techster64 on January 7, 2016 at 6:11 PM

The media only holds Republicans accountable for questionable behavior from other members of their party.

..and sometimes even for people who have nothing to do with the Party.

Hard for me to feel sorry for people in Chicago when most will pull the D lever no matter who’s name is next to it and what their wrap sheet is.

GADinSB on January 7, 2016 at 2:47 PM

Yep, and the same with NY, MD, and CA cities with progressives killing each other.

tej on January 7, 2016 at 4:12 PM

Dems don’t care when their representatives are dishonest (they assume that); they just don’t like it when they get caught.

PackerBronco on January 7, 2016 at 4:22 PM

Which makes this question even more interesting —

Uhhhh, Rahm is a Chicago Democrat, high -ranking Obama staffer, Palestinian. That should be as bullet-proof as they come. What in the hell did he do to piss off the machine that this story isn’t squashed. FFS, Hillary exposed thousands of classified emails and sold out the state department for personal gain, yet she is the frontrunner. Obama is running the most corrupt administration in history, and is loved. But Rahm is facing the boot over a video?

tdarrington on January 7, 2016 at 3:39 PM

Hmm, the cop involved is now charged with murder. if convicted of any crime, it seems to me Rahm could be charged with the crime of concealing evidence. And go to jail. Which seems to be a tradition with Illinois politicians.

rbj on January 7, 2016 at 3:12 PM

I became very confused in some of the stories, and don’t understand how the video was outed, since the family agreed not to make it public.
Who blew the whistle?

AesopFan on January 7, 2016 at 6:21 PM

The VAST majority of people who live on less than $25K a year (or live purely on government assistance) would take the certainty and immediacy of Door #2.

Atlantian on January 7, 2016 at 4:07 PM

I have been wondering if the family got the whole $5M in one payment, or earnest money with a promise of more if the video never surfaced.

AesopFan on January 7, 2016 at 6:23 PM

“It’s Chicago Town, Jake … go home.”

Missilengr on January 7, 2016 at 7:48 PM

NRO ran an editorial comment on January 5 about the ineffectiveness of Obysmal’s “gun control” “solutions.” One of the takeaway paragraphs focused on how gun murders are rampant in cities like Chicago. Look at how both the local and federal governments have contributed to this carnage.

The president has some better options. Gun shows are not major sources of firearms used in crimes, but straw buyers are. We already have strong laws against straw purchases, but they are barely enforced. In fact, a few years back, the U.S. attorney’s office responsible for blood-soaked Chicago (which had more than 2,000 shootings last year) announced that it would not prosecute straw-buyer cases at all; apparently, such crimes aren’t sexy enough to command the attention of federal prosecutors. President Obama has absolute power over the hiring and firing of U.S. attorneys, and he could, if he were so inclined, simply order them to start prosecuting straw-buyer cases in high-crime locales such as Chicago and Detroit — or dismiss recalcitrant prosecutors and replace them with those more committed to doing their jobs. But actually prosecuting straw buyers, as opposed to hassling legal firearms dealers, is a great deal of work and usually results in putting some hoodlum’s nephew or girlfriend in prison. But the only way to bring the force of law down on straw purchases is to

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/429254/obamas-gun-control-executive-actions-wont-reduce-gun-violence

onlineanalyst on January 7, 2016 at 8:48 PM

tdarrington: Rahm is a Jew, not a Palestinian. How he fit into the Obysmal cadre often baffled me, given O’s sympathies with Muslims.

onlineanalyst on January 7, 2016 at 9:02 PM

Cover up is always worse than the crime..rahm could have come forward and lamented the death of a citizen and acknowlegded mistakes were made. Instead he went criminal and tried to cover it up for personal benefit…gotta pay the piper…oh wait he’s a liberal demcrat, forget what i said. Everything is cool.

jaywemm on January 7, 2016 at 9:21 PM

Remember Rahm “Never let a crisis go to waste” Emanuel? I guess, in typical Democrat fashion, it depends on the meaning of the word “crisis” means. If there is a political party that is rapidly wearing out it’s welcome, it’s the Democrats. They run our biggest cities, and are tearing them apart. They have a loser for a President and their leadership is willing to throw out the Constitution. It’s really come to the point where, as a country, we’ve basically outgrown the Democrats and realize we all have to grow up.

bflat879 on January 7, 2016 at 10:52 PM

So far, though, there seems to be little evidence of ethics in Emanuel’s track record as mayor.

Ya think?

Jeez.

Sherman1864 on January 8, 2016 at 1:43 AM

The VAST majority of people who live on less than $25K a year (or live purely on government assistance) would take the certainty and immediacy of Door #2.

Atlantian on January 7, 2016 at 4:07 PM

You are aware that the “poor kid” was a ward of the state at the time of his shooting, aren’t you? That “kid” was a burden on his “parents” (meaning his mother) and had been removed from the home for neglect and abuse. Then he became a pay day for them her. I’m sure the family was completely heartbroken and torn. Not. They got $5 million for hush money, not because they gave a shit about him.

Big John on January 8, 2016 at 2:12 PM