Rev. Al Sharpton — the National Action Network founder and MSNBC host — called for the Chicago mayor to step down Monday, after a city police officer fatally shot two people, one of them accidentally.
Emanuel was vacationing in Cuba during Saturday's shooting, the latest circumstance of a Chicago police officer gunning down black residents. The mayor's spokesperson later confirmed that Emanuel was "cutting his family trip short" to return to Chicago on Tuesday, but declined to identify when his trip was originally scheduled to end.
“We have not seen this kind of physical disparity by a mayor in the middle of this crisis,” Sharpton told the Daily News, discussing national circumstances of police violence. “It’s stunning to me … they’re outraged in the community.”
Sharpton also called for Emanuel to resign in a Monday appearance on MSNBC's “Morning Joe.”
Police responded to an apartment building early Saturday following a 911 call about a domestic disturbance. There, police shot and killed 19-year-old college student Quintonio LeGrier, who authorities said was wielding a bat — and also accidentally shot Bettie Jones, 55.
Emanuel released a statement Sunday calling on the Chicago Police Department and main police oversight agency to review officer training, but Sharpton believes someone else should oversee the overhauls.
“I think it’s clear that he has eroded the question of policing and police reform in Chicago to a degree that I don’t think he can adequately rebuild public trust or handle the reform necessary,” Sharpton said.
FAMILIES OF TWO SLAIN BY CHICAGO PD CALL FOR ACTION
Saturday's bloodshed follows a spate of high-profile cop shootings in Chicago, including the 2014 slaying of LaQuan McDonald. Video of that encounter — in which the officer fired 16 times — was released in November, and Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder.
Emanuel fired Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy amid the McDonald shooting investigation, but the mayor has faced increasing pressure himself. Activists have held demonstrations calling for Emanuel to step down, including disrupting Christmas Eve shopping on the city's Magnificent Mile hub.
Emanuel and his family were scheduled to spend 10 days in Cuba, reportedly with the purpose of "educational activities" under relaxed tourism rules brought forward by the Obama administration.
"While Mayor Emanuel has been in constant contact with his staff and Interim Superintendent Escalante, 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," the mayor's spokesperson said in a statement. "He will arrive back in Chicago on Tuesday afternoon.”
Emanuel, 56, has served as Chicago's mayor since 2011. He was previously the White House Chief of Staff for Obama.