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The [Laquan McDonald] Papers: Where's Rahm?

First in a series.

"In the six days since the dash-cam video showing the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald was released, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has not had a public schedule to allow for any questions concerning the video or subsequent protests and calls for his resignation on social media," Mary Ann Ahern reports for NBC Chicago.

"The mayor has plans to leave for Paris for the global Climate Summit for Local Leaders later this week, but it is not clear exactly when he will leave. Emanuel was originally scheduled to leave on Friday, but his spokesperson would not confirm his departure date this week."

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Rahm does have a scheduled event for Wednesday. Will he use that to tout "something big" - perhaps announced the night before - to divert attention from the questions he should be asked about Laquan McDonald? My Magic 8 Ball says Most Definitely.

*

The summit is important - and Rahm is a Notable Speaker - but maybe dealing with aftermath of the public seeing the Laquan McDonald video is more important. Rahm isn't going to solve climate change by giving a speech.

*

"Emanuel spoke at the news conference just before the video was released last Tuesday. He then went to Millennium Park to attend the lighting of the Christmas tree, which was his last public event."

Here's what that looked like just minutes after his Laquan McDonald press conference - while the rest of us were watching the video, Rahm, in a sudden shift of mood, was waving to a tree lighting crowd:

It's not just that the optics were bad; it's that the reality was bad. This did not advance Rahm's plea for the healing to begin.

*

"Despite the lack of a public schedule, Emanuel has still been out and about in the city, attending different events. Last Wednesday night, the mayor's staff released a photo of the mayor enjoying a pre-Thanksgiving meal with refugees. His spokesperson said the meal was a 'private event,' which is why members of the media were not invited."

"On Sunday afternoon, the mayor's staff released a photo of Emanuel cutting the ribbon at Washington Park at an event that was not made public until after it happened. The Sunday ribbon cuttings at newly renovated parks have been regular stops for the mayor. Usually the alderman of the respective ward also attends these ribbon cuttings, but this time Ald. Willie Cochran did not show."

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Rahm's office released a few other photos in the last few days via Twitter of stops not on his public schedule.

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From this morning:

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The Tribune reports:

"He did not list any public events on his schedule as he avoids taking questions from reporters, a practice that's continued since Tuesday's release of the initial Laquan McDonald police shooting video. Since then, protesters partially shut down Magnificent Mile shopping on Black Friday, and calls for the mayor to fire police Superintendent Garry McCarthy have increased. In addition, questions have piled up about missing video from a Burger King near the site of the shooting and why the Emanuel administration did not release video from three other police vehicles. In addition, the police union wants more detail on why charges were dropped against a protester stemming from Tuesday night's protest.

"The mayor's press shop did send out word that Emanuel stopped by a Sunday afternoon ribbon cutting at Washington Park, but only after the event had concluded. And on Thanksgiving, the mayor's press operation let reporters know that Emanuel had taken part in a 5k turkey trot, including how he finished in his age group, gender group and overall. That information, too, was released after the event was over, so journalists did not get a chance to attend and try to ask Emanuel questions about the city's pressing issues."

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One question: Is this what a leader looks like?

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See also:
* The [Thanksgiving 2015] Papers: Malcolm London explains it all.

* The Weekend Desk Report: 16 shots, hell no you can't shop.

* The Political Odds: Reflecting recent developments.

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on November 30, 2015


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