*The fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke and the release of a video showing the incident is shining a light on law enforcement in Chicago as well as next year’s race for Cook County State Attorney, the city’s top prosecutor.
Although current prosecutor Anita Alvarez generated headlines and made history for charging Van Dyke with first degree murder for the October 2014 shooting—the first such charge for a Chicago cop in 35 years—she has come under fire by activists who are upset that she waited more than a year to announce the charges. So much so that on Saturday (Nov. 21), the Rev. Jesse Jackson called on Alvarez to resign.
Challenging the seven-year incumbent for the position of Chicago’s top prosecutor in Democratic primary are former prosecutors Donna More, John Fritchey and Kim Foxx, who looks ready to make an impact on a criminal justice system that she says is too focused on “looking tough on crime.”
“When the system is the perpetrator of the crime and you have the same system holding it accountable, it’s frustrating,” Foxx told Fusion hours after Van Dyke was charged.
Regarding the officer’s prosecution, Foxx pointed out that, “For 13 months, it’s been on a shelf.”
“A kid was struck down in a really horrific fashion, she said. There should have been a mad dash to gather information and focus on getting justice for this kid.”
Foxx’s comments and bid for the state attorney’s position comes after serving as a prosecutor in the state’s attorney’s office for 12 years. Despite supervising the juvenile courtroom where McDonald appeared for some charges, Foxx admits that she didn’t know the 17-year-old personally.
With Alvarez, Foxx said her expectations of seeing changes in “old boys” atmosphere of the office fell short with seeing women and people of color later being demoted again after receiving promotions. One instance Foxx pointed out was the lack of action from Alvarez to remove pictures of convicted gang members on the walls of the gang squad.
“It’s the faces of all these African-Americans and Latinos hanging on the wall… like trophy wall,” a disappointed Foxx said.
For more about Foxx and her professional history, click here.