Black Lives Matter Victory as Chicago's Top Prosecutor Ousted

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

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.