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OpinionColumnistsLeonard Levitt

Crunch time for ex-NYPD cop

McCarthy, who ran the NYPD’s vaunted CompStat program under Rudy Giuliani, is pondering a mayoral run in Chicago.

Garry McCarthy left the NYPD in 2006.

Garry McCarthy left the NYPD in 2006. Photo Credit: EPA / TANNEN MAURY

Fresh from a recent $5,600 contribution from former Mayor Rudy Giuliani — the max under Illinois law — former Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy sounds like he’s ready to announce a mayoral run in the Windy City.

“Polling is done but being collated, I don’t have it yet. Decision not final but looks good,” McCarthy wrote in a recent text message.

McCarthy, who ran the NYPD’s vaunted CompStat program under Giuliani, left New York in 2006 to head Newark’s police department.

In 2011, he was appointed superintendent of Chicago police, selected in part because of his success in helping to lower New York City’s crime rate.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel fired McCarthy in December 2015 after a court ordered the release of a video that showed a white Chicago cop, Jason Van Dyke, had shot 16 times into Laquan McDonald, a 17-year-old African American, in October 2014. Emanuel had held up the release of the video until after a mayoral primary, fearing that it would damage his re-election chances.

The release of the video led to massive protests over McDonald’s shooting and what appeared to be an attempt to conceal the details of the shooting.

Over the next two years, crime in Chicago skyrocketed — homicides in particular — as police appeared to disengage from the community in the wake of the nation’s narrative of systemic police brutality.

Chicago’s police board announced a nationwide search for a successor to McCarthy but Emanuel, a former congressman and former chief of staff to President Barack Obama, chose Chicago cop Eddie Johnson to run the police department. One of Johnson’s first moves was to travel to New York City to observe an NYPD CompStat meeting. Last year, overall crime fell in Chicago.

Meanwhile, McCarthy and Giuliani have remained in touch. “Rudy Giuliani has been a friend and a mentor to me for more than 20 years,” McCarthy says. “I was with him on 9/11. He’s the guy who turned New York City in the direction that it’s still going in. Maybe Chicago should pay attention.”

Unlike Giuliani, a Trump-supporting Republican, McCarthy says he’s a lifelong Democrat. If he runs, he’ll oppose Emanuel in a Democratic primary.

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