( 4UMF NEWS ) Laquan McDonald And Tamir Rice Prosecutors Voted Out:
The prosecutors behind two high-profile police shooting death investigations — Laquan McDonald in Illinois and Tamir Rice in Ohio — failed to retain their seats in landslide Democratic primaries Tuesday.
Challenger Kim Foxx toppled State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’s hold on Chicago a year after McDonald’s death. The incumbent accumulated months of scrutiny for repeatedly mishandling police brutality investigations and failing to indict Officer Jason Van Dyke until a damning dashcam video inspired a murder charge.
The video shows Van Dyke shooting the teenager 16 times during an October 2014 incident that inspired anti-police demonstrations slamming the shooting as excessive force.
“Our struggles here are very real,” Foxx said at Tuesday’s victory speech. “The need to rebuild a broken criminal justice here in Cook County is not work that should be taken lightly.”
She overtook Alvarez with a 52% lead as of late Tuesday, celebrating her big primary win at the Palmer House hotel and speaking to supporters from alongside her crying teen daughter. Foxx will face off with Republican opponent Christopher Pfannkuche in November.
Repairing relations between pained communities plagued by an unprecedented number of deadly shootings and embattled police departments will depend on faith leaders and Chicago’s “young folk who have shown up and said they demand justice for all,” Foxx said.
Alvarez was initially predicted to advance past the primary, but the tides changed as advocacy groups united for an orchestrated effort to oust the two-term incumbent candidate and rally behind Foxx. In the days before the primary, advocacy groups Black Lives Matters and Assata’s Daughters staked out Alvarez campaign events with signs stating “Bye Anita” and “Anita is Guilty.”
“Tonight did not turn out the way we expected it to turn out,” Alvarez said during her concession speech.
A statement from Assata’s Daughters took credit for booting Alvarez from office.
“Chicago Black youth kicked Anita Alvarez out of office,” the statement read. “We did this for Rekia. We did this for Laquan. We won’t stop until we’re free and Kim Foxx should know that as well.”
The group celebrated Tuesday night by singing “Bye, Anita” to the tune of “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye.”
Meanwhile in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty conceded early Wednesday to his Democratic opponent Michael O’Malley, who garnered about 55% of the vote.
Since no Republican candidate registered to face-off with either candidate, O’Malley will take over a legal force repeatedly lambasted by Tamir’s family for dragging the police investigation along. McGinty lasted only one term in his position, a legacy marred by failing to indict a rookie cop who fatally gunned down the toy gun-wielding 12-year-old boy.
Officer Timothy Loehmann opened fire two seconds after bolting from the police cruiser during the November 2014 incident. A grand jury deemed the shooting justified.
While McGinty failed to mention Tamir in a brief concession statement addressing his opponent, he reflected on his single term with pride.
“I wish him nothing but the best,” McGinty said. “I love the prosecutor’s office and I am proud of all that we have accomplished and of all the outstanding dedicated professionals who work there.”
Both states, Ohio and Illinois, were won by Democratic primary front-runner Hillary Clinton.