CHICAGO (WLS) --The shooting death of Laquan McDonald was a main issue of discussion at a forum Thursday for the three women battling for the Democratic nomination for Cook County State's Attorney.
Once again defending herself for taking 13 months to charge Officer Jason Van Dyke in the McDonald case, Alvarez says the only thing she would change moving forward is to be more transparent. Less than two months before the election, the McDonald case continues to follow her and she continues to stands firm on the way she handled it.
"The nasty headlines I've endured the last four weeks, people forget what I did do on that case. I did what I should do," Alvarez said.
The McDonald case was part of, but not all of, a WBEZ radio forum featuring Alvarez and her opponents Kim Foxx and Donna More. The Toni Preckwinkle-backed Foxx accused Alvarez of not hiring enough minority prosecutors in her office - something Alvarez adamantly denies.
"To sit there and to say that the diversity is not there, it's an outright lie. The diversity is there and I have numbers to prove it," Alvarez said.
But Foxx insists the lack of diversity and the McDonald case are examples of how she believes the Cook County State's Attorney's Office is in crisis.
"The State's Attorney's Office is not holding police officers accountable for misconduct, allows for that distrust to fester," Foxx said.
Alvarez defended her record on prosecuting police officers, saying since she took office eight years ago, she has charged 96 cops for a variety of offenses. But More asked why she has yet to charge officers for falsifying police reports in the McDonald case.
More is trying to break out of the pack by portraying herself as the independent candidate.
"People are tired of having the political class shove down who they need to vote for because it helps them and their power base but not necessarily the citizens of the county," More said.
While More and Foxx are former prosecutors, Alvarez says she is the only candidate that has the experience and expertise to handle police misconduct cases.
Alvarez says neither of her opponents have ever prosecuted a Chicago police officer.
The primary is March 15.