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Protester calls for Rahm Emanuel's resignation at mayors conference

Protester calls for Rahm Emanuel's resignation
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Story highlights

  • A Black Lives Matter protester stood silently holding a sign that said "16 shots and cover up #LaquanMcDonald #ResignRahm
  • Emanuel is scheduled to speak on a conference panel Wednesday on "Reducing Violence and Strengthening Police/Community Trust"

Washington (CNN)A Black Lives Matter protester interrupted a United States Conference of Mayors event in Washington Wednesday calling on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to resign.

April Goggans, an organizer with Black Lives Matter in Washington, blocked the podium during the opening press conference for the group's Winter Meeting. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was discussing the need for 2016 presidential candidates to address issues impacting cities at the time.
    Goggans stood silently holding a sign that said "16 shots and a cover up #LaquanMcDonald #ResignRahm." Others in the room chanted "Black Lives Matter."
    McDonald was a black teenager who was shot to death 16 times by a Chicago police officer. Emanuel has been fighting for his political life amid high-profile police shootings of young black men in Chicago, and the subsequent response from city officials. Accusations that the mayor and Chicago police were involved in an effort to cover up the video contributed to Garry McCarthy losing his job as Chicago's police superintendent.
    Emanuel's press office declined to comment on the protester, but the mayor himself spoke later Wednesday on the conference's "Reducing Violence and Strengthening Police/Community Trust" panel.
    Emanuel said Chicago is working to build more trust between residents and police.
    "Every encounter between law enforcement and a resident is a teachable moment," he said. "The trust factor is not just a goal, it is a key ingredient to effective community policing, which is what you need for safety."
    During a special City Council meeting in December, Emanuel apologized for the circumstances surrounding the death of McDonald, including the fact it took 13 months before a police dashboard camera video of McDonald's shooting became public and the officer who killed him was charged.
    "I own it," he said. "I take responsibility for what happened, because it happened on my watch.
    "And if we're going to fix it, I want you to understand that it's my responsibility."