Teen killings in Chicago have raised questions about Israel’s similar polices in Occupied Palestine, and the biases of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel who has refused to address his abuses not only of African American rights but also his civil rights assaults against American Arabs in Chicago
By Ray Hanania
More than 13 months ago, a Chicago police officer shot and killed a 17 year old teenager.
The teenager, Laquan McDonald, was carrying a pocket knife, the kind that Boy Scouts have but a lethal weapon nonetheless. And, he was using drugs, although police did not know that at the time. All they knew was he was acting strange and police asserted they felt threatened.
One of the many police who followed the boy as he walked down the middle of a Chicago street, pulled up next to him and shot him. The boy died immediately.
The shooting occurred on Oct. 20, 2014, which happened to be four months before Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was to seek re-election to his second term.
Instead of addressing the killing then, Mayor Emanuel, his handpicked Police Chief Garry McCarthy, and Cook County States Attorney Anita Alvarez covered up the killing releasing half truths, partial information and hiding video evidence that would show a much worse picture of the police response.
Emanuel’s City Hall paid the boy’s family $5 million, even before the family moved to get an attorney to file a lawsuit, a payment that objective observers might consider to be a political expense intended to benefit Emanuel and not the city of Chicago.
Last week, a judge ordered the city to release the 13-month-old video of the shooting.
It turns out, the police officer, Jason Van Dyke, shot McDonald three times before he collapsed lifeless to the ground. And then he pumped 13 more bullets into the boys lifeless body as he lay motionless on the street asphalt.
A video of the incident was also documented by a nearby BurgerKing fastfood restaurant. But police, in inspecting the video, destroyed it, evidence that might have shown the police acting even more irresponsibly.
The City of Chicago and community leaders were outraged at the lies, the cover-up and the apparent destruction of evidence and they demanded the resignations of McCarthy, Emanuel and Alvarez, who failed to file charges against the police officer until 13 months later after the video was releases.
This week, Mayor Emanuel, demanded McCarthy’s resignation as a sort of scapegoat for his administration’s failures and int he face of mounting evidence of a murder coverup. The police officer was fired from his job and charged by ALvarez, 13-months too late.
Many American Arabs have been watching the events surrounding the killing and the controversy and the cover-up and they see parallels between the murder her in Chicago and the killing of teenagers by Israel in Occupied Palestine. They are joining in demanding that Emanuel resign.
Turns out Emanuel has spent the past five years engaging in a crusade against American Arabs and Muslims, destroying their involvement at every level in Chicago City Government, even though American Arabs are taxpayers.
Why? Possibly because Emanuel’s father, Benjamin, is a former member of the notorious Jewish terrorist organization the Irgun Zvai Leumi.
Here is my column at Creators Syndicate detailing Emanuels’ actions to undermine the civil rights of American Arabs from the cancellation of Arab Heritage Month and the Arabesque festival directly as a result of racist anti-Arab protests made by the Jewish Federation, to the closing of the Arab Advisory Council.
I have repeatedly requested the opportunity to interview Mayor Emanuel but he has refused, even though I covered Chicago City Hall for more than 17 years.
Click to read stories about the Jewish Federation lobbying against the Arabesque Festival for showing pride in Palestine.
The Chicago mainstream media has covered up the controversy both the killings of teenagers and the bias of Mayor Emanuel.
Mayor Emanuel needs to resign from office and Anita Alvarez has more explaining to do as to why she did not act sooner to take action against Laquan McDonald’s killer.
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia as the Special US Correspondent for the Arab News at www.ArabNews.com, the TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appeare in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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