National activists join those calling for Alvarez, Emanuel to resign

CHICAGO (WLS) -- National activists have traveled to Chicago to join local organizations in gathering signatures for petitions to oust Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez.

The groups say Alvarez and Emanuel failed to hold the Chicago Police Department accountable for Laquan McDonald's death and hope they have the signatures to send them packing.

"We can no longer have political leadership in office who turn their backs on justice," says Valerie Papillon of Black Youth Project 100.

"If not for the dogged work of the press here in Chicago and for activists here in Chicago filing Freedom of Information Requests and fighting in court to get that video released there would not be justice of Laquan McDonalds right now," says Matt Blizek of

The activists carried symbolic boxes of petitions to City Hall Monday which were received by a representative of Mayor Emanuel, who is vacationing with his family in Cuba. They also delivered a thumb drive, as the signatures were collected electronically.

The mayor's office released a statement saying: "The Mayor is energized by the challenges facing the city and he is committed to driving real and lasting solutions. As part of that process, he will continue to actively engage residents and community leaders to ensure their concerns are heard and addressed as part of any set of reforms."

Among those joining the protest is the Latino Coalition for Change, who is urging Latinos in Chicago to speak out.

"We have the same problems," says Daniel Hernandez of Latino Coalition for Change. "We need to work together as a community."

Organizers also brought symbolic boxes of petitions to Alvarez's office. Of the approximately 250,000 signatures, organizers say most come from outside of Chicago and only 5 percent are from local residents.

"I think people around the country want to make sure there is accountability here," says Scott Roberts of Color of Change. "Because we don't want another mayor some other place, another prosecutor some other place, thinking this is how you handle a situation like this."

A spokesperson acknowledged receipt of the flash drives.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.