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Deval Patrick to advise task force on Chicago police

Move comes in wake of Laquan McDonald shooting

Deval Patrick is a Chicago native.Stephan Savoia/Associated Press/File 2014/Associated Press

Former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick will serve as a senior adviser to a task force scrutinizing Chicago police following the shooting of a black teenager, the Chicago mayor's office said Tuesday.

Patrick is a Chicago native who served as an assistant attorney general in the civil rights division under President Clinton.

Patrick will advise a five-member panel reviewing police accountability, oversight, and training, the mayor's office said.

"In light of recent events, the community's confidence in the police and in the system of accountability must be rebuilt," Patrick, who was hired in April to run a social impact fund at Bain Capital , said in a statement.


"As a Chicago native, a former civil rights official, and someone concerned about and experienced with the many issues raised by this tragedy," Patrick added, "I hope I can offer the mayor and his task force some guidance and feedback on the important work they now undertake."

In a separate statement, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he was treating the investigation following the death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald with urgency.

"The shooting of Laquan McDonald requires more than just words," Emanuel said. "It requires that we act; that we take more concrete steps to prevent such abuses in the future, secure the safety and the rights of all Chicagoans, and build stronger bonds of trust between our police and the communities they're sworn to serve."

McDonald, a black teenager, died Oct. 20, 2014, after being shot 16 times by a white police officer.

The recent release of a video of the shooting has drawn demonstrations in the city, as protesters decry the death and the handling of the subsequent investigation.

The officer involved in the shooting, Jason Van Dyke, was charged with first-degree murder after a judge ordered the video's release.

On Monday, his bond was set at $1.5 million.


Martin Finucane can be reached at mfinucane@globe.com. Andy Rosen can be reached atandrew.rosen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @andyrosen.