The announcement made December 7, 2015 by State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, that charges would not be filed in the murder of Ronald Johnson by CPD officer George Hernandez, illustrate Alvarez’s refusal to hold police accountable for the killing of innocent civilians. Alvarez began the press conference by stating that Johnson “fit the description” of a suspect because he was wearing a dark hoody. She proceeded to state that Hernandez’s “frame of mind” was important in considering accountability. She then showed a highly pixelated version of the dashcam video, showing that Johnson was running away from Hernandez. When asked by a reporter whether the dashcam video definitively showed Johnson holding a gun, Alvarez refused to answer.
She then showed a video of a police shooting that had nothing to do with Ronald Johnson, in effort to explain the possible “frame of mind” of George Hernandez in order to absolve of responsibility.
Instead of impartial, principled representation dedicated to serving the people of Chicago as Chief Prosecutor, Alvarez again operated instead, as chief defense attorney for the Chicago Police.
In a sworn deposition, Witness A reported that the “idea of a gun” came from detectives. Witness A stated in the deposition, “I had no thought, or the idea of a gun- wasn’t a thing until they presented the idea to me.” In the sworn deposition, Witness A is asked “Did the idea of a gun come from the detectives, not you?” Witness A replied, “That is correct”. Witness A is asked, “Was it a lie that you thought it was a gun?” Witness A responds, “Yes, it was a lie that I thought it was a gun.”
Michael Oppenheimer, Ronald Johnson’s family attorney, reported that Alvarez refused to interview the officers involved in the shooting, including George Hernandez. Oppenheimer stated in addition, that Alvarez scapegoated the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) because the head, Scott Ando, conveniently announced his resignation, just the evening prior. We assert that Alvarez shifted blame to IPRA in order to absolve herself from responsibility.
Alvarez represented the face of deep seated corruption that pervades every aspect of government in Chicago. Alvarez, CPD and the entire City government are guilty of covering up evidence of the murder of Ronald Johnson.
The inept and corrupt handling of both Laquan McDonald’s and Ronald Johnson’s cases, reveal complicity in cover ups that go all the way to the Mayor’s and State’s Attorney’s offices. It is not enough to force the resignation of police superintendent Gary McCarthy, the resignation of the head of IPRA, Scott Ando, and the resignation of CPD’s Chief of Detectives, Constantine Andrews and the people’s firing of Anita Alvarez. The case must be reopened.