ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 145

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Spike Lee rips Rahm Emanuel on ‘Chi-Raq’ film orange carpet

At movie premiere, Chicago actor John Cusack laments shootings in city, cites police slaying of teen Laquan McDonald

John Cusack, left, and Spike Lee attend the premiere of "Chi-Raq" at the Ziegfeld Theatre, December 1, 2015, New York. (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
John Cusack, left, and Spike Lee attend the premiere of "Chi-Raq" at the Ziegfeld Theatre, December 1, 2015, New York. (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

NEW YORK — Kind words were in short supply for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the premiere of Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq” in New York on Tuesday night.

Emanuel fired the city’s police superintendent after tensions flared over the release of a graphic video that showed a black teenager, Laquan McDonald, being shot 16 times by a white police officer.

Lee predicted at the premiere that “some more heads are gonna roll.”

The police superintendent “is not going to be the only one,” Lee said.

Lee’s satire is based on the ancient Greek play “Lysistrata” by Aristophanes. This modern adaptation is about the murder of a child hit by a stray bullet in Chicago’s South Side, and the group of women that organize a unique way of dealing with the ongoing violence; they hold back sex.

Chicago actor John Cusack, who appears in the film, said the shootings and killings each year are “unacceptable,” and cited political motives.

“I think that 2,200 people being shot per year, and 500 murders (in Chicago) … it’s very tragic that information was suppressed for an election cycle,” Cusack said.

He said the police officer involved in shooting the 17-year-old wasn’t charged or the superintendent fired until the election cycle had passed. Emanuel won a second term earlier this year. The shooting took place in 2014.

The Rev. Al Sharpton walked the film’s orange carpet before the premiere, and afterward led the “Orange March,” a show of support to help end gun violence. The color symbolizes the value of human life.

Sharpton said he feels the power of the satire can send a message to young people about gun violence more than Tuesday’s announcement in Chicago.

“I think that Rahm Emanuel firing the police (superintendent) is huge, but I think more young people in the long term will remember what happened in this film and why people why people like Rahm Emanuel must be held accountable,” Sharpton said.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.

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