Clinton breaks with Emanuel, supports federal investigation

Story highlights

  • Hillary Clinton supports a full review by the Department of Justice, a spokesman said on Wednesday
  • This lines Clinton up against Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who worked for Bill Clinton in the White House

(CNN)Hillary Clinton supports an independent investigation into the Chicago Police Department, her campaign spokesman said Wednesday, days after the department released video of the Laquan McDonald's shooting death at the hands of police.

"Hillary Clinton is deeply troubled by the shooting of Laquan McDonald and the outstanding questions related to both the shooting and the video," said Brian Fallon, Clinton's press secretary. "Mayor Emanuel's call for a task force to review practices of the Chicago Police Department is an important step, but given the gravity of this tragic situation, she supports a full review by the Department of Justice."
This lines Clinton up against Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a longtime Clinton aide who worked for former President Bill Clinton in the White House.
    Emanuel, who is facing calls for his resignation, said Wednesday he was against a federal inquiry.
    Fallon also said Wednesday that Clinton feels Emanuel should keep his job and not step down.
    "She knows Mayor Emanuel loves Chicago, and is sure he wants to do all he can to restore trust in the Chicago Police Department," he said.
    Clinton declined to answer when directly asked whether he should step down at a rally in Florida earlier on Wednesday.
    The fallout from McDonald's death -- and the fact that it took 13 months for the police department to release the video of the shooting -- has rocked Chicago, Emanuel's office and led to Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy's resignation.
    Protesters have demanded that a federal investigation be focused on the behavior of public officials and their actions following the shooting, which happened just before 10 p.m. on October 20, 2014.
    The growing controversy in Chicago raises an issue for Clinton, who is close with Emanuel but has pushed hard for criminal justice reform during her presidential campaign.
    At an event honoring civil rights icons earlier in the week, Clinton said that while civil rights have come a long way since the 1950s, the fight is far from finished.
    "Our work isn't finished," she said. "We do have to pay it forward. There are still injustice perpetrated every day across our country, sometimes in spite of the law, sometimes, unfortunately, in keeping with it."
    McDonald was shot 16 times by police officer Jason Van Dyke during an altercation on October 20, 2014. He has been charged in McDonald's death.
    Emanuel said that the video of the shooting was not released earlier because there was a concern that it could taint a federal and state investigation of McDonald's death. Protestors accuse the mayor of keeping the video hidden so it wouldn't endanger his election chances.