Activism

Black Lives Matter Victory as Chicago's Top Prosecutor Ousted

Chicago decided it was high time for County State Attorney Anita Alvarez who waited an entire year before convicting the killer of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

Photo Credit: Rich Whitehead/Creative Commons

Anita Alvarez waited an entire year before convicting the killer of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, attracting widespread condemnation from anti-police brutality and civil rights groups. Chicago decided it was high time for County State Attorney Anita Alvarez to leave office Tuesday. Alvarez attracted widespread condemnation for her unwilligness to charge 68 police officers for their involvement in fatal shootings, including the killer of 17-year old Laquan McDonald who was shot 16 times in just 13 seconds. Alvarez lost the election to Kim Foxx, who is now eyeing a bid for the role of top prosecutor of the nation's second-largest county. Foxx spent 12 years as prosecutor in the Cook County States Attorney's office and eventually started working under Alvarez.

Foxx, who said her goal is to “bring back integrity to our criminal justice system," was one of the first to criticize Alvarez's handling of the Laquan McDonald case. The 43-year-old has also emphasized the importance of transparency and accountability and wants to reduce incarceration rates. This differs from the position of Alvarez, who has been criticized for dishing out incarceration as a first resort. “Obviously, we hoped the results would be different,” Alvarez told supporters Tuesday night. “I’ve been criticized that I wasn’t a very good politician,” she said, adding: “I am damned proud of the fact that I am a very good prosecutor.” Those that have followed Alvarez's career may disagree with the latter. Not only did Alvarez wait a whole year before she prosecuted the police officer who killed Laquan McDonald, but she is also known to have condemned the innocent through her refusal to reopen the case of four men who were most likely convicted despite being innocent in 2015. Alvarez is also prominent for her tendency to incarcerate children, resulting in Chicago having had 3,414 Black students and 892 Latino students arrested, compared to 192 of their white counterparts in 2013 alone.  

Watch: #AlvarezMustGo Action in Chicago

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