New legal action in Laquan McDonald case

By Kierra Gray

A coalition of lawyers, community activists and leaders filed a petition Tuesday requesting that the Circuit Court of Cook County remove State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez from the Laquan McDonald case.

In October 2014, Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke shot 17-year-old McDonald 16 times, leading to his death. The city, and Alvarez, delayed the release of video footage of the shooting, causing controversy, protests and distrust among many in the public.

Petitioners say Alvarez has a conflict of interest and a bias in favor of the police. Their petition requests a special attorney to preside over the case.

In a press release, Alvarez defended her record, saying she has brought charges against 96 law enforcement officers when the facts warranted it. She also said the latest legal action is politically motivated, and not a coincidence that it was filed a month before the election for her seat.

A court hearing in the case of the petition is scheduled for February 26th.