Saturday, December 22, 2012

Dumke: Foe of Cook County state's attorney won't let 60 Minutes comments die

[VIDEO] Earlier this month 60 Minutes did a story about false - well I prefer coerced - confessions out of Chicago. It seems they are more prevelent out of Chicago than any other US locale. A number of Black males were interviewing claiming that they were forced to confess to crimes they didn't commit.

For her part, Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez gave a "stand out" performance in her appearance in this piece. In the wake of this story she was criticized by such talking heads as Rich Miller of the Capitol Fax and Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune. Many view her performance as akin to "political suicide".

Much more recently Mick Dumke of the Chicago Reader writes how Alvarez' interview continues to make a lasting impression. As a matter of fact he interviews one of her rivals Alderman Howard Brookins (21) on this subject. Well rival is a relative term as Ald. Brookins ran against her for the State's Attorney job in 2008. Also remember that Alvarez was re-elected to her office just last month.
"Necrophilia!" Brookins says when we sit down for an interview. "I don't think they forced you into saying that. It's where your mindset is, and it's one of the reasons we have a credibility gap in the community. Or were they beating you with a rubber hose?"

Brookins has been a foe of Alvarez's since 2008, when he was one of five men who lost to her in the Democratic primary for state's attorney.

Alvarez likes to point out that since winning the seat she's set up neighborhood offices, earned national recognition for fighting human trafficking and prostitution, and launched a "deferred prosecution" program that's helped a handful of nonviolent offenders avoid felony charges and prison time.

You could say Brookins hasn't been impressed. "Who would have known she would end up being unlikable and doing nothing for the African-American community?"

Like other critics, Brookins blasts Alvarez for failing to diversify her staff, investigating student journalists who examined wrongful convictions, and doing little to seek justice in what looks like a cover-up of a 2004 death involving a nephew of former mayor Richard M. Daley. After relentless reporting by the Sun-Times, a special prosecutor was appointed to the case, and the Daley nephew, R.J. Vanecko, was charged with involuntary manslaughter.
The article concludes with Brookins starting to talk about alternatives to Alvarez, assuming that she will run for re-election again in 2016. In fact might Brookins be interesting in the slot four years from now?

It was also noted that Alvarez faced no opposition in the Democratic primary in '12 and she won re-election with 77% of the voter against her Republican opponent Lori Yokoyama. That causes Brookins to quip, "Where are good Republicans when you need them?" LOL! Really?

I do hope you watch the story that's posted here. Had been wanting to post it here, but had a hard time justifying it until I read Dumke's piece about Ald. Brookins.

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