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
  • Are American Schools Failing To Teach Students Basic Civics?

    February 16, 2019

    Are American Schools Failing To Teach Students Basic Civics?

    February 16, 2019

    A group of high school students are suing their school for not providing a “proper civics ...

    Watch now

Latest

  • Should College Athletes Be Paid?

    March 30, 2019

    Should College Athletes Be Paid?

    March 30, 2019

    March Madness is back and so is the debate over paying college athletes. Accordi...

  • FL Voters Gave Felons the Right to Vote. Now Lawmakers Want to Put that on Hold.

    March 30, 2019

    FL Voters Gave Felons the Right to Vote. Now Lawmakers Want to Put that on Hold.

    March 30, 2019

    Florida voters took a historic step in November, changing the state’s constituti...

  • A TEEN WITH AUTISM HELPING POLICE LEARN TO HELP THOSE IN A MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS

    March 30, 2019

    A TEEN WITH AUTISM HELPING POLICE LEARN TO HELP THOSE IN A MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS

    March 30, 2019

    Of the nearly one thousand people killed by police in 2018, one in four were su...

  • The Midwest’s Catastrophic Flooding Could Become the New Normal

    March 23, 2019

    The Midwest’s Catastrophic Flooding Could Become the New Normal

    March 23, 2019

    March’s bomb cyclone triggered catastrophic flooding along the Missouri and Miss...

  • The Oblate Sisters of Providence: A Story in Tribute to Soledad’s Mother Estela

    March 23, 2019

    The Oblate Sisters of Providence: A Story in Tribute to Soledad’s Mother Estela

    March 23, 2019

    A story in memory of Soledad O’Brien’s mother, Estela Marquetti O’Brien. Estel...

  • America’s Farmers Facing Both Financial and Mental Health Crises

    March 23, 2019

    America’s Farmers Facing Both Financial and Mental Health Crises

    March 23, 2019

    The devastating floods across the Midwest aren’t only the latest hardship to hit...

  • Irish Immigrant: How Undocumented Immigrants Experience America Depends on Skin Tone

    March 23, 2019

    Irish Immigrant: How Undocumented Immigrants Experience America Depends on Skin Tone

    March 23, 2019

    How undocumented immigrants in America are treated often depends on the color of...

  • Lawrence, MA: How Immigration has Shaped New England’s First Minority-Majority City

    March 16, 2019

    Lawrence, MA: How Immigration has Shaped New England’s First Minority-Majority City

    March 16, 2019

    When Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) announced she was running for president, she c...

  • Peer-to-peer court puts justice in the hands of teens

    June 15, 2019

    Peer-to-peer court puts justice in the hands of teens

    June 15, 2019

    Two million American children are suspended or expelled from school each year. N...

  • Help in the Heartland: Inside the mental health crisis plaguing farmers

    June 15, 2019

    Help in the Heartland: Inside the mental health crisis plaguing farmers

    June 15, 2019

    A new survey shows America's farmers are feeling less optimistic about the futur...

  • Teen climate change activist now getting the attention of presidential candidates

    June 1, 2019

    Teen climate change activist now getting the attention of presidential candidates

    June 1, 2019

    As part of our climate change series of reporting, "Earth: We're on it", Soledad...

  • State of Inequality? Why are so many in California struggling to get by on a six-figure income

    May 25, 2019

    State of Inequality? Why are so many in California struggling to get by on a six-figure income

    May 25, 2019

    Californians struggle with some of the highest home prices in the country with a...

  • Paradise Lost: California town struggles to recover six months after deadliest fire in history

    May 25, 2019

    Paradise Lost: California town struggles to recover six months after deadliest fire in history

    May 25, 2019

    California has the fifth largest economy in the world. However, the Golden State...

  • Leaving for Love?

    May 18, 2019

    Leaving for Love?

    May 18, 2019

    How far would you go for love? We follow an American woman, Katrina Jabbi, on he...

  • Deportee Wives Club

    May 18, 2019

    Deportee Wives Club

    May 18, 2019

    Three American women are not letting the border break up their marriage. They al...

  • Urban Renewal or Urban Removal?

    April 27, 2019

    Urban Renewal or Urban Removal?

    April 27, 2019

    Big cities around the country have tried to spark economic revitalization by tar...

  • June 9, 2019

    June 15, 2019

    June 9, 2019

    June 15, 2019

  • June 1, 2019

    June 8, 2019

    June 1, 2019

    June 8, 2019

  • May 25, 2019

    June 1, 2019

    May 25, 2019

    June 1, 2019

  • May 18, 2019

    May 25, 2019

    May 18, 2019

    May 25, 2019

  • May 11, 2019

    May 18, 2019

    May 11, 2019

    May 18, 2019

  • May 4, 2019

    May 11, 2019

    May 4, 2019

    May 11, 2019

  • April 27, 2019

    May 7, 2019

    April 27, 2019

    May 7, 2019

  • April 20, 2019

    April 27, 2019

    April 20, 2019

    April 27, 2019