Hillary Clinton is calling for an independent federal inquiry into the Chicago Police Department's tactics following the shooting death of African American teenager Laquan McDonald by a white police officer, her campaign said Wednesday.
Clinton's stance puts her at odds with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who on Wednesday said he was against a full-blown federal investigation.
Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, is "deeply troubled" by the shooting last year of McDonald and the "outstanding questions" it raises, her spokesman Brian Fallon said.
Emanuel has called for a task force to review the Police Department's practices, which is "an important step," Fallon said. "But given the gravity of this tragic situation, she supports a full review by the Department of Justice," he said of Clinton.
Emanuel, a powerful fellow Democrat, has come under harsh criticism for his administration's handling of the shooting and its aftermath but said Wednesday that he opposed a broader federal civil rights probe into the Police Department. The mayor contends a local task force is a more appropriate forum for a review.
His administration spent months trying to keep private a police video that shows McDonald being shot 16 times. The airing of the video last month set off a furor among protesters and community leaders, who demanded answers about the shooting and the mystery surrounding it.
Emanuel has acknowledged that he made "mistakes" during the inquiry but has said that an additional layer of investigation would be "misguided."
But Clinton is siding with Illinois Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan, another influential Democrat, who has called for the Justice Department to look into the police use of deadly force. Madigan wrote a letter Tuesday asking U.S. Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch to launch a review because, as she put it, the "trust in the Chicago Police Department is broken."
Clinton met last month in Chicago with mothers of several black men killed by police across the country, including the mothers of Michael Brown, whose shooting death by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014 touched off a national debate over policing, and Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old who was playing with a toy gun when he was killed by Cleveland police a year ago.