Flashpoints in community policing and race relations in America continue to be part of the national dialogue – also extending to the political debate stage. In one of the country’s most violent cities, Chicago, overall crime rates are decreasing. Yet murders and shootings continue to rise.  Garry McCarthy, Chicago’s former Police Superintendent, believes officers are bearing too much responsibility for maintaining the community’s trust.

“It’s not just the police. The police make mistakes, we screw up, we make mistakes. No two ways about it. But the police are not responsible for all those societal ills. And without addressing them, we can’t move forward. Without even recognizing that that’s the seed of this discontent, and no doubt the police are a factor when we do stupid things and we get into trouble.”

Those unaddressed societal ills, according to McCarthy, include poverty, the modern segregation of neighborhoods and the historic relationship between police and African Americans.

“This is a big issue. People talk about reestablishing trust I say nonsense because if you look at the African American experience in this country, it started with slavery, black codes, Jim Crow, segregation,” McCarthy says. “Who was enforcing those racist laws?”

During his tenure, McCarthy was known as a reformer, focusing on community policing and improving police training. Under his four years as Chicago’s top cop, crime was reduced by 38 percent. Complaints against the Chicago Police Department dropped by 50 percent two years in a row.

Despite lower crime rates, McCarthy was fired after dash cam footage was released showing the death of 17-year African American Laquan McDonald, who was killed by an active duty officer while walking away from police. The officer alleged to have fired the 16 shots, Jason Van Dyke, faces first degree murder charges.

Watch our interview for a discussion on the controversial practice of stop and frisk, the release of body camera footage and the rift between communities and the police. See our full interview for a deeper discussion.

Show More

Related Videos

  • Local Elections Director: Expect Cyber Incidents in the 2018 Midterms

    February 10, 2018

    Local Elections Director: Expect Cyber Incidents in the 2018 Midterms

    February 10, 2018

    Russian hackers “successfully penetrated” some state voter rolls in 2016, the Department o...

    Watch now
  • Full Interview with Timothy Tyson, Author of The Blood of Emmett Till

    February 11, 2017

    Full Interview with Timothy Tyson, Author of The Blood of Emmett Till

    February 11, 2017

    Historian Timothy Tyson has recently released his new book, The Blood of Emmett Till, cent...

    Watch now
  • Revealing the Truth about Emmett Till

    February 11, 2017

    Revealing the Truth about Emmett Till

    February 11, 2017

    Nearly 60 years ago, Emmett Till was kidnapped, brutally beaten and left to drown in Missi...

    Watch now
  • An Overlooked Witness to Emmett Till’s Kidnapping

    February 11, 2017

    An Overlooked Witness to Emmett Till’s Kidnapping

    February 11, 2017

    The horrific murder of young Emmett Till in 1955 spurred national outrage. The 14-year-old...

    Watch now
  • Using the Pulpit to Raise Voices

    October 8, 2016

    Using the Pulpit to Raise Voices

    October 8, 2016

    In Chicago, one of the nation’s most violent cities, homicides are highly concentrated in ...

    Watch now
  • Education leader: Education Must Reach Beyond Classroom

    October 8, 2016

    Education leader: Education Must Reach Beyond Classroom

    October 8, 2016

    High school graduation rates are at an all-time high at 82 percent, yet there are many stu...

    Watch now
  • Full Garry McCarthy Interview

    October 8, 2016

    Full Garry McCarthy Interview

    October 8, 2016

    Tune in for the full discussion with Garry McCarthy, Chicago’s former Police Superintenden...

    Watch now
  • “Black Rome”: The Brazilian State Where African-Americans Are Finding Their Roots

    January 12, 2019

    “Black Rome”: The Brazilian State Where African-Americans Are Finding Their Roots

    January 12, 2019

    Renee Adolphe was living the "American Dream." She had a successful career, owned a home a...

    Watch now

Latest

  • Americans Following Undocumented Spouses to Mexico

    January 19, 2019

    Americans Following Undocumented Spouses to Mexico

    January 19, 2019

    More and more Americans are leaving the United States to live in Mexico to follo...

  • Gov. Polis: Trump Can’t Win Colorado in 2020

    January 19, 2019

    Gov. Polis: Trump Can’t Win Colorado in 2020

    January 19, 2019

    The 116th Congress entered as the most diverse group of federal lawmakers in his...

  • Visas are Being Approved for Child Brides. A Former Teen Bride Wants to Change That.

    January 19, 2019

    Visas are Being Approved for Child Brides. A Former Teen Bride Wants to Change That.

    January 19, 2019

    Millions of men are looking to bring child brides to America and thousands of re...

  • “Black Rome”: The Brazilian State Where African-Americans Are Finding Their Roots

    January 12, 2019

    “Black Rome”: The Brazilian State Where African-Americans Are Finding Their Roots

    January 12, 2019

    Renee Adolphe was living the "American Dream." She had a successful career, owne...

  • America’s Immigration Stories: “At The Core America Is Based on Immigrants”

    January 12, 2019

    America’s Immigration Stories: “At The Core America Is Based on Immigrants”

    January 12, 2019

    The nation is now entering it’s longest government shutdown as Democrats and the...

  • A Teen with Autism Helping Police Learn to Help Those in a Mental Health Crisis

    January 12, 2019

    A Teen with Autism Helping Police Learn to Help Those in a Mental Health Crisis

    January 12, 2019

    Of the nearly one thousand people killed by police last year, one in four were s...

  • Justice Sotomayor: Lack of Civics is Causing the Partisan Divide

    January 5, 2019

    Justice Sotomayor: Lack of Civics is Causing the Partisan Divide

    January 5, 2019

    The partisan divide between the general public and even elected officials seems ...

  • Lin-Manuel Miranda: Bringing Hamilton to Puerto Rico to Help Rebuild After the Hurricane

    January 5, 2019

    Lin-Manuel Miranda: Bringing Hamilton to Puerto Rico to Help Rebuild After the Hurricane

    January 5, 2019

    “Hamilton” is set to premiere in Puerto Rico next week with Lin-Manuel Miranda r...

  • Americans Following Undocumented Spouses to Mexico

    January 19, 2019

    Americans Following Undocumented Spouses to Mexico

    January 19, 2019

    More and more Americans are leaving the United States to live in Mexico to follo...

  • “Black Rome”: The Brazilian State Where African-Americans Are Finding Their Roots

    January 12, 2019

    “Black Rome”: The Brazilian State Where African-Americans Are Finding Their Roots

    January 12, 2019

    Renee Adolphe was living the "American Dream." She had a successful career, owne...

  • A Teen with Autism Helping Police Learn to Help Those in a Mental Health Crisis

    January 12, 2019

    A Teen with Autism Helping Police Learn to Help Those in a Mental Health Crisis

    January 12, 2019

    Of the nearly one thousand people killed by police last year, one in four were s...

  • MIGRANT CARETAKER: GOD CALLS US TO HELP OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS

    December 29, 2018

    MIGRANT CARETAKER: GOD CALLS US TO HELP OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS

    December 29, 2018

    On a busy day, up to 500 migrants seeking asylum pass through the Catholic Chari...

  • LANDOWNERS IN THE BORDER WALL’S PATH: WE WON’T GO DOWN WITHOUT A FIGHT

    December 29, 2018

    LANDOWNERS IN THE BORDER WALL’S PATH: WE WON’T GO DOWN WITHOUT A FIGHT

    December 29, 2018

    The nation is now a full week into the partial government shutdown over a fundin...

  • TROOPS AT THE BORDER: A STUNT OR A NECESSARY PRECAUTION?

    December 29, 2018

    TROOPS AT THE BORDER: A STUNT OR A NECESSARY PRECAUTION?

    December 29, 2018

    The third government shutdown of 2018 now appears it won’t be resolved until a n...

  • MORE UNDOCUMENTED MIGRANTS ARE CAUGHT HERE THAN ANYWHERE ELSE. IT’S ALSO GROUND ZERO FOR MIGRANT DEATHS

    December 29, 2018

    MORE UNDOCUMENTED MIGRANTS ARE CAUGHT HERE THAN ANYWHERE ELSE. IT’S ALSO GROUND ZERO FOR MIGRANT DEATHS

    December 29, 2018

    President is threatening to shut down the entire southern border with Mexico, un...

  • A New Hotline That Could Decrease the Number of Innocent People Sent To Prison

    December 15, 2018

    A New Hotline That Could Decrease the Number of Innocent People Sent To Prison

    December 15, 2018

    The U.S Constitution guarantees every criminal defendant the right to legal repr...

  • January 05, 2019

    January 12, 2019

    January 05, 2019

    January 12, 2019

    This week on Matter of Fact, a rare interview with Justice Sonia Sotomayor on ci...

  • December 29, 2018

    January 5, 2019

    December 29, 2018

    January 5, 2019

    A special edition of Matter of Fact at the southern border, where landowners...

  • December 22, 2018

    December 29, 2018

    December 22, 2018

    December 29, 2018

    This week on Matter of Fact, Native American women and girls are disappearing ac...

  • December 15, 2018

    December 22, 2018

    December 15, 2018

    December 22, 2018

    This week on Matter of Fact, how a new hotline is working to bring down the numb...

  • December 8, 2018

    December 15, 2018

    December 8, 2018

    December 15, 2018

    This week on Matter of Fact, the simple question "Are you an American citizen?" ...

  • December 1, 2018

    December 8, 2018

    December 1, 2018

    December 8, 2018

    This week on Matter of Fact, a father explains his family's terror after his son...

  • November 24, 2018

    December 1, 2018

    November 24, 2018

    December 1, 2018

    This week on Matter of Fact, a business looking to change the way other companie...

  • November 17, 2018

    November 24, 2018

    November 17, 2018

    November 24, 2018

    This week on Matter of Fact, Florida voters agreed to give felons the right to v...