A top aide to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was physically assaulted while attending a vigil for two people killed by Chicago police officers.
Emanuel cut short his Cuba family vacation, and sent deputy chief of staff Vance Henry, 50, to the vigil for 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier who was killed when Chicago Police were called to a domestic violence call on Saturday.
Also killed was 55-year-old Bettie Jones, a resident in the same building. She was accidentally struck by bullets fired by the officer.
According to reports, Emanuel’s staffer was walking toward the vigil with Alderman Jason Ervin when a man stalked up to them and began to confront the pair saying, “What are you doing here, you should be downtown doing something about this.” The man then said that “the police are killing us,” and walked away from the officials.
Reports say that the man soon returned with several others and they began to criticize the Emanuel aide once again.
Emanuel aide Henry reportedly told the man to “get out of his face,” whereupon the man took a swing, hitting Henry in the face. At the same time, a second individual tackled Henry to the ground.
The two then began to kick Henry as he lay on the ground.
The Emanuel official sustained minor injuries and drove himself to the hospital.
An email statement from the Mayor’s office acknowledged that “one of our staff members” was involved in the altercation. “We take this matter very seriously and the incident is under review,” the statement concluded.
The physical attack comes after months of pressure for Mayor Emanuel to resign after what critics say is his failed handling of the investigation into the death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, a teen who was shot 17 times by a Chicago Police officer in 2014.
The opressure has been growing since the November release of police dashcam video of the shooting. On Monday of Christmas Week, an activist group delivered a petition with over 250,000 signatures calling for Emanuel’s resignation over his actions in the McDonald investigation.
Many charge that Emanuel delayed the release of dashcam video of the 2014 shooting in order to smooth the way for his re-election early in 2015.
A host of people have called for Emanuel’s resignation. The latest is Reverend Al Sharpton.
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