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The firing of Chicago’s top cop, Garry McCarthy by Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Dec. 1 was a surprise to some but not to protesters who wanted him out.

The ouster came after a court order forced the release of a year-old police dashcam video showing Ofc. Jason Van Dyke riddling 16 bullets into Laquan McDonald, a 17-year-old African-American teen, on Oct. 20, 2014. The video seems to belie the accounts of the incident provided by several policemen in their report, suggesting a possible cover-up.  Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder on the very day the video was released.

The footage’s release also sparked days of protest in Chicago. And, among those demonstrators was NAACP President and CEO Cornell Brooks, who was arrested Nov. 30. He spoke to Thomas Roberts, host of “MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts” Dec. 1 on McCarthy’s firing.

“It is a significant step forward and may well be necessary but not sufficient; meaning a change in personalities and leadership even at that level is necessary but not sufficient,” said Brooks. “The abuses and misconduct of the Chicago Police Department go back over a generation. So when we have a police department that has racked up an excess of half a billion dollars in legal settlements, 50 million dollars in a single year, 5 million most recently to the family of Laquan McDonald, and where we had 2,000 complaints filed in which 19 was associated disciplinary actions, we have a culture characterized by a lack of accountability and transparency.”

Accountability and transparency were two central issues discussed at an Oct. 21 meeting at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., of Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration, a new organization made up of 130 current and former police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors and attorneys from all 50 states. Their goal is to reduce mass incarceration by redesigning public safety measures.

“Police related shootings are down 68 percent in the last four years. Complaints against officers are down almost 50 percent in the last two years and (we) are making 20,000 arrests,” said Garry McCarthy, one of the group’s co-chairs, at the time, speaking about Chicago.  “Reducing crime, reducing arrests, getting better results, making different metrics, that’s how it’s played out.”

But what hasn’t played out is an end to continuous shootings by police of unarmed civilians and a culture that protects wrongdoing cops.

“We have to root out the problem root and branch, and so it’s not enough to change personalities, not enough to simply pull together a task force which will likely bring forth recommendations we are already aware of. The challenge before the city of Chicago and the mayor is to make this police department representative of one of America’s greatest cities,” Brooks continued. “That is to say, a police department that respects its citizens, that does not abridge their rights under the laws of the state of Illinois and the ordinances of the city of Chicago neither the laws of this country.

“We’ve seen that again and again, Brooks added. “We have a police department that operates its own domestic Guantanamo (Bay) where there is a police station where people have disappeared and their rights violated. This is a problem.”

Roberts asked Brooks if he believed Emanuel was also a problem and would be shuffled out as part of leadership change. But Brooks said he would not “stare into a crystal ball” and predict Rahm’s political future.

Roberts then asked what the NAACP wanted from the city of Chicago to make cultural change.

Brooks gave five demands the NAACP, including an independent civilian review board with the authority and subpoena power to hold the police department accountable. Another request was a thorough top-down review of the police department in terms of ensuring its integrity, its transparency and its responsiveness to the citizens of Chicago.

“The point being here is we know the answer to police misconduct and police brutality,” said Brooks. “The challenge for us is ensuring that the answers match the question and that we address the question with sufficient urgency; and that’s the responsibility in the task before Mayor Emanuel.”