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Chicago Leaders Boycotting Mayor’s MLK Breakfast

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduces newly appointed Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett at a news conference, Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, in Chicago. Emanuel replaced his embattled public schools chief Jean-Claude Brizard with Bennett, a veteran educator and administrator whose experience in Cleveland, Detroit and New York will help take Chicago school reforms “to the next level.” (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

A growing group of city leaders plans to boycott Chicago’s Rev. Martin Luther King peace breakfast, reports say, due to controversy over concerns of the city’s African American community relationship with Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration.

“I believe nothing can be more disrespectful to Martin Luther King than breaking bread with a leader who has damaged the quality of life for African Americans,” Jedidiah Brown told NBC Chicago, saying Emanuel’s policies have gone contrary to the teachings of the civil rights leader. “There’s not been any investment into the South Side of Chicago.”

At the annual event, the Mayor’s Office invites leaders from across the city to participate in the reflection of King’s legacy. But the Laquan McDonald case, and more recently the demands for the release of the Cedrick Chatman police shooting video, which was made available Thursday, have spurred increasing protests of Emanuel’s administration and the Chicago Police Department and some have called for the mayor’s resignation.

Brown said although the mayor has asked Chicago leaders to provide peace to the city after the release of the Laquan McDonald video, Emanuel hasn’t facilitated reform. “The mayor has caused more harm than good,” Brown said.

Emanuel, however, has promised reform of the police and called for an investigtion of the city’s law department after a top city attorney was accused by a federal judge of hiding evidence in the 2011 police shooting of Darius Pinex, NBC Chicago reported.