On Tuesday, the prosecutors who worked the cases of Laquan McDonald and Tamir Rice in Chicago and Cleveland were voted out of office. The losses of prosecutors Anita Alvarez and Tim McGinty are a significant victory for the Black Lives Matter Movement, whose influence is currently being tested at the polls.
In Chicago, Cook County State’s prosecutor Alvarez has been flanked by protestors for over a year for refusing to bring charges against McDonald’s shooter, Officer Jason Van Dyke, despite dash cam footage revealing his guilt, and accusations of taking part in trying to cover the incident up. Black Lives Matter’s Chicago chapter, led by Aislinn Pulley, held numerous demonstrations demanding police accountability, and the removal of the city officials involved.
According to BuzzFeed, BLM hung over a dozen signs around the city of Chicago, which read, “Adios Anita 16 shots and a cover up” and “Blood on the ballot.” They also got the word out using the popular Twitter hashtag #ByeAnita. The Chicago activist group called Assata’s Daughters also organized against Alvarez, and posted these victory tweets following her ousting: “Chicago Black youth kicked Anita Alvarez out of office” and we “won’t stop until we’re free and Kim Foxx should know that as well.”
— Assata's Daughters (@AssataDaughters) March 16, 2016
Kim Foxx, a black woman from Chicago’s no longer existent housing project Cabrini Green, has worked her way up through the political chain under Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. Foxx will face against Republican Christopher Pfannkuche in the fall.
In Cleveland, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor McGinty lost to Democrat Michael O’Malley. McGinty was the prosecutor who advised a grand jury against indicting Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback, the police officers who gunned down 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014, despite video evidence of them acting violently without assessing the situation.
Both Foxx and O’Malley promise to build a relationship based on trust with their communities and make sure that justice is served.