(AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)By
Former Chicago Superintendent of Police Garry McCarthy said Sunday that the Black Lives Matter movement was ultimately responsible for rising crimes rates in his city and nationally because it was making it harder for police to do their jobs.
McCarthy said that the movement was responsible for a rise in "noncompliance" — people refusing to cooperate or surrender to police.
"What is happening is — and this is ironic — that a movement with the goal of saving black lives is at this point is getting black lives taken because 80 percent of our murder victims here in Chicago are male blacks," McCarthy told New York radio talk show host John Catsimatidis.
McCarthy was superintendent at the time of the 2014 death of Laquan McDonald, a 17 year-old who was shot by police. Dashboard camera footage of McDonald's death contradicted the officers' accounts of the incident, which contended that McDonald had come at them with a knife. The resulting protests after the footage was released helped to fuel the then-growing Black Lives Matter movement. An officer in the shooting has been charged with murder. McCarthy was fired by Mayor Rahm Emanuel earlier this year.
Crime has soared in Chicago in the last year, with 3,500 reported shootings in the city and the murder rate topping 750. That is the highest number in two decades and a 58 percent increase over the previous year.
McCarthy said that there was a direct connection between that rising crime rate and the movement.
"There has been a political atmosphere of anti-police sentiment that has swept across this country over the last few years. The simplest way to describe it is that we have created an environment where we have emboldened criminals and we are hamstringing the police. That is creating a state of lawlessness."
He added that this was leading to an increase in shootings of police officers as well.
He argued that the movement was encouraging "young people not to comply with police and legitimizing that non-compliance."
McCarthy was careful to say that there have been cases where police were responsible for unwarranted and tragic shootings in Chicago and elsewhere. Cops have to do a better job, he said. But he argued that the reaction to those cases should not be what drives law enforcement policy. "Less than half of one percent of all of the shootings in this city [involve] police officers shooting civilians," he said.