UPDATED: March 16, 2016 1:00 a.m.
Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, who was seeking her third term, conceded to challenger Kim Foxx for the Democratic nomination Tuesday amid brewing discontent with her handling of both the Laquan McDonald case and a number of others that cleared police officers involved in fatal shootings.
Speaking to supporters two hours after polls closed, Alvarez contended that she was a “good prosecutor.”
“I have been criticized that I wasn’t a very good politician, and that’s probably right, and that’s probably why I stand before you tonight,” Alvarez said, returning to a theme she stressed during the campaign. “But I am very damn proud of the fact that I am a good prosecutor, I have been.”
Foxx will face Republican candidate Christopher E. K. Pfannkuche in a general election.
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune
Arguing that the sole job of Chicago’s top prosecutor is to disproportionately lock up African-American men, ColorOfChange worked overtime on Tuesday’s primary to oust Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, who is up for re-election.
“She is unique in just how cavalier she about dismissing Black lives,” Rashad Robinson, executive director of the online civil rights group, told NewsOne Tuesday.
During her seven years in office, Alvarez has failed to bring charges against Chicago police officers involved in the fatal shootings of at least 68 people, he said.
Alvarez, the Chicago Police Department, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel came under heavy criticism this winter after it was revealed that officials deliberately hid dashcam video showing the police-involved shooting death of Laquan McDonald.
Now, activists are throwing their support to Kim Foxx, a Chicago native whose campaign centers on reforming the Cook County criminal justice system and calling for greater police accountability.
In conjunction with thousands of grassroots activists, ColorOfChange created the social media hashtag, #byeanita, and launched ByeAnita, a web page that aggregates dozens of instances in which she has repeatedly failed communities of color.
“She has shielded the police from justice and over-prosecuted Black communities leading to numerous wrongful convictions,” the site says. “It took her more than a year to charge the officer who wrongfully shot Laquan McDonald 16 times. She brought the wrong charge against the cop who killed Rekia Boyd.“
Robinson said the death of McDonald, who was shot 16 times by a White officer within seconds of stepping out of his car as the Black teen walked away from the scene, revealed a pattern of corruption and mishandling of cases related to African-Americans by Alvarez and other city officials.
“She is without remorse,” Robinson said. “Prosecutors are some of the most powerful actors in the criminal justice system. Of the 24 elected prosecutors nationwide, more than 70 percent run unopposed. This is why it’s so important that this race is happening. Alvarez has made it a priority to put our community in harm’s way, and in the process, makes the city less safe for everyone. The people of Chicago now have the opportunity to fire someone who has mishandled the law and who has been corrupt.”
Robinson urged Chicago voters to say Bye, Anita. Will you?
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty | VIDEO SOURCE: Inform