Both prosecutors who proved to be incompetent in the high-profile police shooting deaths of unarmed juveniles Laquan McDonald in Illinois and Tamir Rice in Ohio have lost their seats.
Chicago State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, who faced heavy scrutiny for her “mishandling of police brutality investigations,” lost to challenger Kim Foxx, the New York Daily News reports.
What many believe was the final straw for Alvarez’s tenure came after dash-cam footage was released showing Chciago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke shooting 17-year-old Laquan 16 times. Although police and Alvarez had the footage of the shooting for over a year, Van Dyke was indicted only after a nationwide outcry that the officer be charged.
“Our struggles here are very real,” Foxx said at Tuesday’s victory speech alongside her crying teen daughter, the Daily News reports. “The need to rebuild a broken criminal justice here in Cook County is not work that should be taken lightly.”
Foxx will face off against Republican opponent Christopher Pfannkuche in November.
“Chicago black youth kicked Anita Alvarez out of office,” Assata’s Daughters, a Chicago-based youth group that took credit for Alvarez’s loss, said in a statement. “We did this for Rekia [Boyd]. We did this for Laquan. We won’t stop until we’re free and Kim Foxx should know that as well.”
In Cleveland, embattled Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty, who lasted only one term in his position, conceded Wednesday to Democratic opponent Michael O’Malley. McGinty came under fire for advocating against charges to the grand jury in the Tamir Rice case. The 12-year-old, who was playing with a toy gun near his home, was shot and killed by Officer Timothy Loehmann, who opened fire just seconds after jumping from his police cruiser during the November 2014 incident. Under McGinty’s advisement, the grand jury deemed the shooting justified.
“I truly believe that over the last three or four weeks, people started hearing the message that my campaign team was putting forth, and it was that this county needs to rebuild confidence in the criminal-justice system, and they need an individual who is willing to work to do that,” O’Malley, who wins the seat outright because there is no Republican challenger, told Fox 8.
“They need an individual who is willing to go out and meet with individuals and restore some type of confidence in that office, and I’m that individual and I will be doing that. I will be meeting with people, I will be talking with people on the streets. It’s going to take a large effort to bring this system back, but I am willing to work with the common pleas judges, the public defenders, all the people who thought they were perhaps bullied in the past will have a partner, and that partner will be me and my team,” O’Malley said.