Just days after the release of the dashcam video showing the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald, U.S. Senate candidates Andrea Zopp and Tammy Duckworth called for the release of another video showing the fatal shooting of a man by a Chicago police officer.
Ronald Johnson, 25, died after being shot by an officer on Oct. 12, 2014, just eight days before McDonald was shot to death by Officer Jason Van Dyke. Activists and family members asked for an investigation into Johnson's shooting after the fallout from the McDonald video release and the first-degree murder charge for Van Dyke.
"These tragedies are a disturbing trend and signal a pattern of behavior: deadly force being used by some members of law enforcement, followed by incomprehensible delays of justice by those responsible for ensuring accountability," Zopp said in a statement Wednesday. "We cannot move forward until the community believes that there is full transparency and accountability from all authorities, which is why the video must be made public immediately."
Zopp also renewed her push for a Department of Justice investigation into the Chicago Police Department.
Shortly after Zopp released her statement, Rep. Tammy Duckworth responded, adding her voice to the call for the release of the Johnson video as well as the Department of Justice investigation.
"(Duckworth) believes the vast majority of CPD officers are professional and dedicated public servants, but that the department at large has institutional and cultural problems that date back years and that have contributed to an erosion of trust, which is why she's supporting Attorney General Madigan's request for a Department of Justice investigation of Chicago police practices," Matt McGrath, a campaign spokesman, said in a statement.
State Sen. Napoleon Harris, who will run against Zopp and Duckworth in the spring primary, has not made any comment on the Johnson case, but he has arguably been the most vocal of the three concerning possible malpractice in the Chicago Police Department. Back in October, days before the McDonald video was released, Harris said he contacted the U.S. Attorney General to ask for an investigation into police practices in Chicago. His request was prompted not by the McDonald video release, but rather the reports about mistreatment of detainees at the Homan Square prison facility.
Like Zopp and Duckworth, Harris also asked for the resignation of Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy in the days leading up to McCarthy's removal on Tuesday.
Harris has also echoed the calls of activists across the city who want Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez to resign as well. Zopp has questioned the handling of the McDonald case by the Cook County State's Attorney's office, but neither she nor Duckworth have offered their opinions on whether Alvarez should remain in office.
The three candidates will face off in the March primary. Whoever wins that race will challenge Sen. Mark Kirk for his seat in November.