16 March 2016

Corrupt Prosecutors Lose Primaries

The prosecutors who did their utmost to cover up the police murders of Laquan McDonald and Tamir Rice have been turfed out in the primaries:
Forcing out prosecutors who refuse to treat police shootings as serious crimes is a significant milestone in the movement against unjustified police shootings of black Americans.

Last July, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez explained why she chose to charge police officer Dante Servin with involuntary manslaughter instead of murder for firing his gun into a crowd of people and killing 22-year old Rekia Boyd. Servin was inside a car, and fired the gun over his shoulder, claiming that he fired because he saw a man approaching him with a gun.

“He intentionally fired his weapon, yes. But is there intent to kill? I don’t think he went out intending to kill anyone,” Alvarez told the Chicago Tribune. “He was reckless, shooting off his shoulder into a crowd of people.” Servin was set free after the judge angrily said that the entire case had been wrongfully charged.

How someone could fire a gun into a crowd of people and not intend to kill anyone is as much of a mystery as why it took Alvarez nearly two years to charge Servin. Similarly, Alvarez took more than a year to charge officer Jason Van Dyke for the shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, and only then after the government was forced to release video of the shooting that showed Van Dyke firing his weapon into McDonald’s body while he was lying on the ground. According to the Daily Beast, Alvarez declined to file charges against police involved in fatal shootings more than 68 times in the last seven years.

Alvarez lost her job Tuesday night. So did Timothy McGinty, the Cuyahoga County, Ohio prosecutor who told the grand jury looking into the shooting of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old holding a toy gun, that they shouldn’t press charges against the officers who killed him because Rice’s death was merely tragic and not criminal. Though a video showed that Rice had been shot by police moments after they arrived, with no opportunity to even follow their commands, McGinty, by his own admission, encouraged the grand jury not to indict.

“Justice would not be achieved by bringing charges that would violate the ethical canons of our profession,” McGinty said last December, “because we know these charges could not be sustained under the law in our Constitution.” The local judge who ruled there was probable cause to bring charges against the officers described McGinty’s approach to the matter as “unusual.”


Forcing out prosecutors who refuse to charge police with crimes for fatal shootings of unarmed black men may be the best sustainable strategy of changing that national culture of impunity, where police need only say they were afraid to justify ending someone’s life. If prosecutors know they will pay a price for letting cops slide, they will be less likely to do so.
These are deeply evil people, and I would hope that folks in the legal profession in Illinois and Missouri are looking at referrals to the state bar for discipline.

These folks lack the moral character to practice law.

Perhaps some other district attorneys out there who are starting to realize that they have more to fear from people thirsting for justice than they do from the PBA (cop union).


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