Police Abuse

Prosecutors in Chicago, Cleveland Lose Re-Election Bids After Police Abuse Controversies

Prosecutors involved in Laquan McDonald, Tamir Rice shootings both defeated.



The state's attorney in Chicago, Anita Alvarez, and the county prosecutor in Cleveland, Tim McGinty, both lost their bids for re-election last night, losing their Democratic primaries to challengers.

Prior to her defeat, Alvarez lost the support of the local Democratic party, which endorsed her challenger, and last night's winner, Kim Foxx, instead. Alvarez had been widely criticized for her handling of the Laquan McDonald shooting, failing to bring charges against the officer who killed McDonald until after a judge ordered the release of dashcam video of the shooting.

"There was no justifiable reason, whatsoever, for a delay in charges of 400 days," Foxx told MSNBC earlier this week. Nevertheless, neither Alvarez nor Foxx mention the McDonald case in their election night speeches. Alvarez attributed her loss, instead, to being a poor politician. She could not have been that poor of a politician—after all, she won a close primary in 2008 and two general elections after that.

Prior to bringing charges against the police officer who shot Laquan McDonald, Alvarez had declined to prosecute 68 cops involved in fatal shootings in the last seven years. That record did not stop her from winning elections before—which could be a welcome sign of voters in big cities finally punishing politicians who have contributed to the problem of police violence.

Alvarez's defeat was a victory for critics of police abuse, but Foxx's win may not be, yet. While Foxx got the endorsement of local activists as well as celebrities like John Legend, she has been an assistant prosecutor for more than a decade, with no substantive record of standing up to police violence in that time.

In Cuyahoga County, meanwhile, Ted McGinty lost his re-election bid in large part because of his decision not to prosecute the police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice within seconds of exiting his patrol car.

McGinty was defeated by Mike O'Malley, who entered the race just a few days before the filing deadline in December. Even before O'Malley entered the race, Democratic ward leaders in Cleveland declined to "recommend" McGinty for an endorsement, supporting O'Malley instead.

O'Malley currently serves as public safety director in Parma and was the deputy prosecutor under McGinty's predecessor, William Mason. He was a general felony unit supervisor, working closely with police departments in the county.

While Foxx and O'Malley rode popular discontent with police abuse to electoral victory, they are both law enforcement insiders. Voters in Chicago and Cleveland may have voted the bums out, but they could well have voted new bums in. That remains to be seen. Issues of police reform have largely taken a backseat in the national presidential race (save the occasional bromide deployed to curry support among certain demographics), but local policies and politicians have far more influence on the conditions under which police violence thrives, and so local fights ,while less glamorous and less followed, are far more important than the national ones.

NEXT: Trump on His Triumph: 'I Don't Understand It. Nobody Understands It.'

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  1. certain demographics


    1. to curry support among certain demographics

      Well, he sort of does say that…indians, obviously.

      1. *stands to begin thunderous ovation*

      2. I don’t care if it’s 9am, i could fuck up some vindaloo right now.


      1. Misspelling, he meant “cretin” demographics.

  2. the occasional bromide


  3. There are so, so many examples of Anita Alvarez’s awfulness. Like the time she prosecuted a woman for wiretapping after she recorded her conversation with police after they were trying to intimidate her out of filing a complaint. Or the time where she fought against the release of a man proven innocent by DNA for a rape/murder, where a convicted rapist’s DNA was found in the victim, because that convicted rapist could’ve just been wandering in the woods, found the dead body, and had sex with it. Or a ton more that I’m not remembering because I haven’t had any coffee yet.

    1. So what you’re saying is, Hillary’s got a frontrunner for her AG?

      1. [vomits uncontrolably]

    2. So. She’s just another cunt. Like Coakley.

      Bullies they are.

  4. pour encourager les autres

    Yeah, their replacements look like just the same sort of tools.
    Can’t we hold on to a little sliver of hope?

    1. These masturbation euphemisms are getting pretty abstract.

  5. Does this matter, really? The Democrats will never shy very far from the police unions or any other powerful union (prison workers). The idea that reshuffling different Democrats is going to fix anything is absurd. But it will appease the activists. It’s all about putting on a little show.

    1. ^This, sadly. But I wouldn’t say “never,” although we’re not yet to that tipping point, yet. It would basically take blacks giving the DNC an ultimatum – ditch the police unions or lose us.

    2. On this issue especially, I would not look to Republicans for any kind of salvation, at least not presently. The surest predictor of a Republican primary election for sheriff is the police union endorsement.

      1. Neither party is. Didn’t mean to suggest otherwise.

    3. When it comes to police, both TEAMS are on the same end of the Authoritarian-Libertarian scale. Tiny details may vary, but in every way that counts, they are the indistinguishable.

    4. But it will appease the activists. It’s all about putting on a little show.

      Which ought to tell you how dimwitted the activists are. Replacing Alvarez with Foxx is like replacing Stalin with Lenin. The activists don’t want substantive change, if they did they’d change party affiliations. Activists just want an ego stroke, they don’t actually give a flying fuck about justice.

    1. ….ADD…..
      You can’t vote “new bums” in if they don’t run for the office.

  6. Duly noted.
    As if these two communities have a stellar record of electing people that are worth a shit.

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