Anita Alvarez Withdraws From McDonald Case

The prosecutor who announced charges against the Chicago police officer who fatally shot Laquan McDonald announced she is withdrawing from the case.

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, who lost her reelection bid in the Democratic primary to Kim Foxx earlier this year, said she plans on asking to court to appoint a special prosecutor in her place.

“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 sent to The Washington Post. “It would also ensure that one designated prosecutor will handle this case as it proceeds to trial.”

Activists and civil rights attorneys called for a special prosecutor to replace Alvarez earlier this year. They said she was too closely tied to the city’s police department.

On Thursday, Alvarez said “no legal conflict of interest” was present that would prevent her office from prosecuting the case, but she felt it was the responsible thing to do to step down given her recent electoral loss.

In a court filing, Alvarez wrote that her primary goal “is, and has always been, to obtain justice for Laquan McDonald.”

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