Cook County, Ill., State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said in an announcement Thursday that she will withdraw from the Laquan McDonald case, the Washington Post reports.
Alvarez, who lost her re-election bid earlier this year, said that she is asking for the court to appoint a special prosecutor in her place in the controversial case that has drawn national attention.
“While it is has not been an easy decision, I believe that it is the right one because it will help to avoid unnecessary legal delays and provide continuity in the handling of this very important and complicated case,” Alvarez said in a statement. “It would also ensure that one designated prosecutor will handle this case as it proceeds to trial.”
Alvarez was the one who announced murder charges against Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, who fatally shot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times in October 2014. However, activists and civil rights attorneys have long called for a special prosecutor, accusing Alvarez of being too close to the police.
Alvarez, who has defended the “meticulous, thorough investigation” that was conducted, said that although there was “no legal conflict of interest” to stop her from handling the case, she thought it best to turn things over to a special prosecutor, given her recent election loss.
Read more at the Washington Post.