Toni Preckwinkle comes under fire for Laquan McDonald political ad

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago mayoral candidate Toni Preckwinkle came under fire from some Thursday about a political ad she released highlighting her role in exposing the Laquan McDonald shooting.

Critics, including several mayoral candidates and activists, are not disputing the facts of the ad, but are not happy that she is taking credit for playing an instrumental role in the case.

They accused Preckwinkle of taking too much credit, and using the ad as a distraction. Preckwinkle, who is Cook County Board President, stands by the facts in her ad and so does the journalist who first broke the McDonald story.

The ad is Preckwinkle's first as a mayoral candidate. In it she highlights what she believes is her pivotal role in the McDonald Case.

"It was Toni who made sure Laquan McDonald's autopsy went public," the ad says.

Activists blasted the ad, calling it distasteful and disrespectful to all the people who protested and worked hard for the release of the dashcam video.

"She used this as propaganda to try to enhance her name for African American voters," said William Calloway, activists and candidate for 5th Ward Alderman.

Calloway said Preckwinkle is using the ad as a distraction after as a distraction after her name was linked to the Alderman Ed Burke corruption investigation.

Mayoral candidate Garry McCarthy agreed. The former police superintendent is mentioned in the ad as part of the city cover-up. McCarthy suggested Preckwinkle may have broken laws by releasing the autopsy report.

"She may have broken the law by releasing ongoing evidence in an ongoing investigation," he said.

"Former Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy needs to accept his role in the cover-p," Preckwinkle responded.

She defended her ad and stood by her role in releasing the autopsy report while the city suppressed information about the case.

"I used my power to expose that Laquan McDonald was shot 16 times, nine times in the back," she said.

She gave the information to journalist Jaimie Kalve, who was the first to learn from a whistleblower and civilian witness that McDonald was shot several times.

"She actively helped me access the information in the autopsy report and that is what broke the story," Kalven said.

Kalven received a finalized autopsy report through a Freedom of Information Act request.

In her role as Cook County President, Preckwinkle said she made sure Kalven's FOIA request was met immediately.

Both said the release of the autopsy report set in motion the public outcry for the release of the videotape.
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