FOX 32 talks 1-on-1 with Anita Alvarez regarding Laquan McDonald case

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez has been at the center of the controversy surrounding the Laquan McDonald shooting.

The Chicago Urban League on Wednesday called for her resignation, saying  it should never have taken a whole year  to charge Officer Jason Van Dyke with murder.

The state’s attorney sat down with FOX 32’s Larry Yellen for a candid interview.

FOX 32: Did you have any conversations with the mayor over the last 13 months about the handling of this case?

“No. Absolutely not. I did not talk to the mayor about this. I wouldn't talk to the mayor about an open investigation. And he didn't talk to me about it,” Alvarez said.

FOX 32: Did political considerations play any role in either the timing of your announcement yesterday or the decision to charge?

“Absolutely Not,” Alvarez said. “I am going to make these decisions as a prosecutor. I will never let politics get involved.”

“The criticism that is out there, it's all politically motivated. Because unfortunately, I am in a reelection campaign,” she added.

FOX 32: Has this case given you any reason to reconsider whether these videos should be released earlier?

“The question becomes, yah know, is it important to release these earlier even though you're not completed with your investigation, so it's something we need to look at,” Alvarez said.

FOX 32: I think some cities actually say the video shall be released within 72 hours.

“Yah know, I'm open to discussion about that,” Alvarez said.

FOX 32: People are still asking today, why it took so long to bring this case.

“I won’t apologize for the length of time that this took because I think it was appropriate, and based on other cases that we have looked at, police involved shootings, it takes anywhere from 18 to 20 months to complete those. So I believe that we were just coming up on a year, that it was an appropriate amount of time,” Alvarez said.

FOX 32: Is there any way you could have taken it to a grand jury last spring and within a couple of weeks got an indictment and then completed the investigation as you go forward?

“Well, no, we decided to do this investigation jointly, the U.S. Attorney’s office and myself, the FBI being our investigative partner,” Alvarez said.

A Cook County grand jury is likely to start hearing evidence soon regarding the case against Van Dyke. That allows prosecutors to avoid a public, preliminary hearing, and instead, obtain an indictment with evidence presented behind closed doors.

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