Chicago mayor to meet with feds in civil rights probe of police

CHICAGO -- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he will personally meet with U.S. Department of Justice agents who have launched a probe of the city's police department.

The former White House aide told reporters that his meeting is scheduled for Thursday, a day after federal officials were meeting with police department representatives in the civil rights investigation.

The DOJ announced the investigation earlier this month after the release of video showing a white officer fatally shooting a black teenager in 2014.

Meanwhile, Emanuel responded to Chicago police union claims that officer morale is the lowest it's been in decades.

Emanuel said he's been meeting with officers in several districts over the last few days and sees officers' dedication. But he said it's not surprising officers are impacted by recent events, including the firing of police superintendent Garry McCarthy.

Last week, Emanuel apologized for the 2014 shooting during a special City Council meeting that he called to discuss a police abuse scandal at the center of the biggest crisis of his administration, and promised "complete and total" reform to restore trust in the police.

The apology came after the release of a video showing white Officer Jason Van Dyke shooting 17-year-old McDonald 16 times. In the video, McDonald appeared to be walking away from Van Dyke, who was charged last month with first-degree murder.

Emanuel addressed three main themes in his passionate speech: justice, culture and community. He also criticized the police department for being quick to shoot, saying the department's "supervision and leadership," as well as the oversight agencies, failed.

"I take responsibility for what happened because it happened on my watch. And if we're going to fix it I want you to understand it's my responsibility with you," Emanuel said. "But if we're also going to begin the healing process, the first step in that journey is my step.

"And I'm sorry."

Protests erupted after the mayor's apology, with demonstrators demanding he step down.

Hundreds of protesters marched through the streets near Chicago's City Hall, blocking traffic and chanting, "16 shots and a cover-up" and "Shut it down."

The crowd, which set out from Daley Plaza, was peaceful but angry.