Following a private roundtable meeting with pastors and religious leaders in Chicago, Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson addressed the healing that needs to happen in the city following the police-involved shooting death of Laquan McDonald, calling the shooting "despicable" and "abominable."
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Chicago police have been under scrutiny since the public release of dash cam video that appears to show Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times. Video of the shooting, which happened last year, was released Nov. 24 following a court order.
"You know the situation with the McDonald shooting is very disturbing, a young man who was not being confrontational, was not being threatened, to be gunned down in the way that he was,” Carson told reporters following his meeting.
"This act was really just as abominable, but in fact was not really brought to life for a year. That represents a failure of government and everybody loses in a situation like that," Carson added. "The community loses, the state loses, the nation loses, we simply cannot condone this kind of activity. We cannot sweep it under the rug and this is what creates a lot of the animosity that exists in our society today.”
Carson said he has seen the video and condemned the delayed timing of the release of the video, claiming that it was “hidden” from the public for “political reasons.”
"Whether it was a cover-up or not, it was hidden for a long time,” Carson said in response to an ABC News question. “It’s hard to come up with a rational reason to do that other than a political reason.”
The retired-neurosurgeon, however, would not comment of whether Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel should step down, saying he “thinks that’s a decision for the people here in Chicago. ... I’m not going to weigh in on that.”
Facing extreme political pressure, Emanuel gave an emotional apology on Wednesday addressing a special meeting of the Chicago City Council.
“Today, I own it. I take responsibility for what happened because it happened on my watch,” Emanuel said. “And if we’re going to fix it, I want you to understand it’s my responsibility with you. But if we’re also going to begin the healing process, the first step in that journey is my step. And I’m sorry.”
The Department of Justice announced this week that is has launched a civil rights investigation into the Chicago Police Department’s pattern and practices and will focus on the use of force and accountability within the police department.