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Preckwinkle defends campaign ad referencing Laquan McDonald case

By Larry Yellen, Fox 32

Community activists are demanding that Toni Preckwinkle pull her new campaign commercial about the Laquan McDonald shooting, or withdraw from the mayor’s race.

The county board chairman reacted by strongly defending her role in the McDonald case.

“I want justice for my people. And she’s sitting up there trying to capitalize on what we went through? Shame on her, man!” said community activist William Calloway.

Community activists who sought justice after the death of Laquan McDonald demanded Thursday that Preckwinkle pull her new campaign ad off the air.

“It was Toni, who called for the dashcam video to be released,” the ad states.

The ad also says Preckwinckle helped get the autopsy released, and helped oust police superintendent Garry McCarthy and then state’s attorney Anita Alvarez. The activists say Preckwinkle’s trying to divert attention from her connection to last week’s charges against Alderman Ed Burke.

“It was very opportunistic of her. it was very distasteful. And to us it was a complete utter slap to the face,” Calloway said.

Preckwinkle called a press conference to respond.

“I used my power to expose that Laquan McDonald was shot sixteen times, nine times in the back. At the same time, the mayor, the police superintendent, and the state’s attorney were actively covering up his murder,” Preckwinkle said.

The journalist who broke the Laquan McDonald story backs up Preckwinkle’s claims, saying that she played an important role in getting the Laquan McDonald story out into the open.

Jamie Kalven says that early on, he asked Preckwinckle to check with the medical examiner and see if the autopsy supported what he’d heard from an eyewitness.

“And it was the first time I heard any human being say this. She said sixteen shots. Front and back. and at that point I had the corroboration I needed to go with the story,” Kalven said.

The activists say if Preckwinkle doesn’t pull her ad, they’ll start a campaign against her.

This article originally appeared on Fox 32 News.

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