Two Years After McDonald Case, Chicago Protests Seek Changes

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The second anniversary of the shooting death of Laquan McDonald in Chicago was remembered yesterday with a rally outside police headquarters, where demonstrators called for the prosecution of police officers who use deadly force and encouraged people to support the passage of Illinois House Bill 6616, the Laquan McDonald Act, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. William Calloway, a community activist who organized the rally, said one of the goals of the evening was to “make sure what happened to him never happens again.” The bill would establish “a procedure for an election to recall the Mayor of Chicago, an alderman of the City of Chicago, and the Cook County State’s Attorney.”

The proposal was inspired by the fallout of the release of the McDonald shooting video last year. Police officer Jason Van Dyke could be seen on dashcam video shooting the 17-year-old boy 16 times. Last November, after an order from a judge, the city released the video, prompting weeks of protest and calls for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and then-Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy to resign. Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder hours before the video was released, a move that drew much skepticism from activists and community leaders who believed the delayed decision to file charges was to ensure Emanuel’s re-election. Alvarez was later defeated in a primary election, and McCarthy was fired.

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