CHICAGO (CBS) — A group of civil rights attorneys, elected officials, and civil rights activists has filed a petition asking a judge to appoint a special prosecutor to take over the Laquan McDonald murder case, claiming Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez can’t be trusted to oversee the matter.
Their petition also asks for a special prosecutor to look into a possible police cover-up of the October 2014 shooting, in which Officer Jason Van Dyke shot McDonald 16 times as the teenager was walking away from police.
Cook County Commissioner Chuy Garcia said the public has lost confidence in Alvarez after she took more than a year to charge Van Dyke with murder.
Sheila Bedi, an attorney with the MacArthur Justice Center, said Alvarez is too closely allied with the Fraternal Order of Police to handle the case fairly, and should be disqualified from representing the state in the McDonald case.
“Anita Alvarez is beholden to the police union. Her failure, over and over again, in many other cases, to appropriately and timely charge police officers who have committed crimes, even in the face of overwhelming evidence – indisputable evidence – makes clear that she has helped to facilitate the code of silence that so pervades the Chicago Police Department,” she said.