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Chicago Wants a Special Prosecutor for McDonald Case
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Anita Alvarez

Summary: A group of activists and politicians have come together to ask for another prosecutor to be brought in for the case involving 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

Politicians and activists are teaming up together to demand the replacement of Cook County State Attorney Anita Alvarez. The coalition went before the Cook County Circuit Court to petition for another special prosecutor to be brought in for the case of Laquan McDonald.


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McDonald, 17, was shot to death by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke in 2014. Rep. Bobby Rush, Rep. Danny Davis, McDonald’s family, and several community activist groups are unhappy with the way Alvarez has handled the incident. The video showing Van Dyke shoot McDonald 16 times was recently released in November. It took her 400 days to charge Van Dyke, which also happened to be the same day she was ordered to release the police dashcam footage of the shooting through a court order. No other officers involved in the shooting have been charged despite the fact that many of their witness testimonies contradict the video footage.

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Alvarez is in a tight reelection race against former prosecutors Donna More and Kim Foxx. The group is supporting the appointment of Foxx. She is also backed by Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle. Davis said, “We are simply saying that we don’t believe the current state’s attorney ought to handle the prosecution in this case. If there is going to be justice, then this is a necessary part of it.”

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The petition continued to state, “This timing has produced an unprecedented crisis of confidence in the State’s Attorney and her office. It appears that officers of the Chicago Police Department manufactured witness statements, destroyed evidence and prepared false police reports and may have provided false grand jury testimony as part of a concerted effort to portray Mr. McDonald’s shooting not as it was, but as an action of heroic self-defense in response to Mr. McDonald’s aggression toward Van Dyke and other officers.”




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