Spike Lee took Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to task at the premiere of his new film “Chi-Raq” in New York Tuesday night.
Lee predicted that “some more heads are gonna roll” after Emanuel fired the city’s police superintendent Tuesday stemming from the release of a graphic video that showed black teenager Laquan McDonald being shot 16 times by a white police officer.
The police superintendent “is not going to be the only one,” Lee said on the orange carpet before he and some cast members participated in an anti-gun violence march.
John Cusack, who also appears in the film, said the shootings and killings in Chicago each year are “unacceptable,” and cited political motives. The Chicago actor said the police officer involved in the 17-year-old’s death or the superintendent fired until the city’s election had passed.
Emanuel won a second term earlier this year. The shooting occurred in October 2014.
It's very tragic that information was suppressed for an election cycle," Cusack 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.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, who walked the film's orange carpet before the premiere, said the power of the satire can send a message to young people about gun violence more than Tuesday's announcement in Chicago.
The movie's kickoff segued into the anti-gun violence march. Lee, Sharpton and members of the film's cast joined about 150 people who marched from a midtown theater to Times Square. Actor John Turturro, who isn't in the movie, marched with them.
Emanuel said in a Tuesday afternoon that he asked for Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy’s resignation. Emanuel hired McCarthy shortly before his 2011 inauguration.
Emanuel named Chief of Detectives John Escalante as the interim police chief until a permanent replacement is found. Emanuel reiterated Tuesday that he’s also responsible for the way the McDonald case has played out.
"I take responsibility and none of us are above it," Emanuel said Tuesday.
The Rev. Michael Pfleger, a Catholic priest and social activist from Chicago who is the basis for Cusack's character in the movie, urged the crowd to pledge to end gun violence.
"Are we going to save our babies or are we going to close our eyes and sit down?" he said before making the crowd repeat an oath: "I make a pledge to stop violence in my home, on my block and in my city."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.