How the Laquan McDonald Case Shaped the Illinois Primary

One of the most influential people in Tuesday’s election isn’t even on the ballot. Just four months after the video that rocked Chicago, the death of 17-year old Laquan McDonald continues to play out in Tuesday’s primary.

On South Stony Island Monday morning some signs reading “I love Laquan” and “Fire Anita” were seen being hauled away by a city Streets and Sanitation crew while other political signs were left standing.

Any electioneering, including the removal of campaign signs, will not be tolerated said Jennifer Martinez, a spokeswoman for the Department of Streets and Sanitation.

The shooting of the 17-year-old by a Chicago police officer in 2014 has in large part defined the race for Cook County State’s Attorney. It is also playing out in the Democratic presidential primary where the mere mention of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s name drew loud boos at Bernie Sanders’ Friday rally.

“I do not want Rahm Emanuel’s support,” the Vermont Senator made crystal clear.

In May 2014, Emanuel announced his support for Hillary Clinton.

Then came the McDonald video.

Clinton called for a Justice Department investigation.

Emanuel at first balked and then relented.

“Mayor Emanuel has said that he is committed to complete and total reform, and I think he should be held to that standard,” Clinton said Jan. 17, 2016 on NBC’s ‘Meet The Press.”

The McDonald investigation has been the biggest issue in the State’s Attorneys race between incumbent Anita Alvarez, who defends her handling of the case, and challengers Kim Foxx and Donna More.

But more than anything else this political season has seen the disengagement and silence of the mayor, who had no public schedule Monday as Clinton made her final appearance in Chicago.

“This is far beyond the mayor,” Congressman Danny Davis said after Clinton’s Monday rally. “It’s about America just as it is about Chicago.” 

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