To find out if Rahm covered up the murder of Laquan McDonald, we ask the city to show us what they’ve got.

By Ben Joravsky, Chicago Reader

For the last few weeks, there’s been heated debate about Mayor Rahm and his handling of the Laquan McDonald video.

The question is: Did the mayor cover up evidence of a murder when he sat on the video showing police officer Jason Van Dyke shooting McDonald in 2014—only releasing the video after a Cook County judge ordered him to do so?

One side says yes, that’s an obvious cover-up. The other side says stop picking on Mayor Rahm!

Representing the Rahm side is a bunch of very powerful people, including President Joe Biden, Senators Richard Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, and former Chicago inspector general Joe Ferguson.

rahm emanuel under a magnifying glass due to FOIA request

A formidable team if ever there was one.

The other side includes my old friend and political strategist Delmarie Cobb, her ally Norman Solomon, a whole bunch of leftists, Matt Topic (more on him later), and ugh, well, me.

Or as the Sun-Times summed us up in a subhead—“no significant opposition.” Which is, let’s face it, how the Rahms of the world view the left in this country.

The most relevant person on that list—at least for this column—is Topic. He’s a local lawyer who’s made a reputation as the go-to guy in legal battles with the city over FOIA requests.

FOIA stands for Freedom of Information Act. It’s the law that requires municipalities like Chicago to fork over information those municipalities probably should have made public in the first place.

Topic was the lawyer who forced Mayor Rahm—fighting all the way—to turn over the video that showed Van Dyke gunning down McDonald.

That video demonstrated that the city’s more-or-less official position on that murder—that McDonald was the aggressor and Van Dyke acted in self-defense—was a lie. And had been since the day McDonald was killed.

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