Meet Garry McCarthy, Rahm Emanuel's Patsy

For a time, it looked like Emanuel and his crew would pull it off. But when an independent journalist sued for access to the video, and when in November a Cook County judge rejected the city’s argument that ongoing investigations into the shooting would be jeopardized if the video were to be released, Emanuel surely knew Chicago would be coming in for a rough stretch. What could be done to lessen the blow, if not necessarily to the city, at least to himself?

Coming to the mayor’s aid was Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, who after 13 months of investigation charged Officer Van Dyke with murder. For the mob coalescing in Chicago, it was too little, too late. That they would be handed Van Dyke’s scalp was a given, but they demanded McCarthy’s, Alvarez’s, and yes, Emanuel’s as well. Alvarez is herself an elected official, so there was little Emanuel could do by way of handing her over to the torch-and-pitchfork crowd. Not so with McCarthy, though, who served at the mayor’s pleasure. On Dec. 1, McCarthy was summoned to Emanuel’s office and told his services were no longer needed.

“Superintendent McCarthy knows that a police officer is only as effective as when he has the trust of those he serves,” Emanuel said at a morning news conference. He added that there is “the undeniable fact that the public trust in the leadership of the department has been shaken and eroded.” The same might be said – but was not said – of Emanuel himself. But no matter. The mob demanded a sacrifice and Emanuel was in a position to give them one. Thank you for your service, Garry, but this is how we do things in Chicago.