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Protesters Deliver National Petition Signed by 250,000 Asking Rahm to Quit

By Ted Cox | December 21, 2015 2:37pm
 Protesters chanting,
Protesters chanting, "16 shots and a cover-up," staged a die-in ahead of Monday's news conference at the Thompson Center.
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DNAinfo/Ted Cox

THE LOOP — A couple dozen protesters delivered a nationwide petition Monday calling for Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez to resign for their actions in the Laquan McDonald case.

Yet, even as protesters insisted they had more than 250,000 signatures on online petitions circulated by national groups including MoveOn.org and Democracy for America, organizers granted that only about 5 percent of those who signed the petitions, or about 12,500 people, were Chicagoans.

Still, with chants of "16 shots and a cover-up," protesters charged Emanuel and Alvarez had lost the confidence of local residents and should step down.

Valerie Papillon, of Black Youth Project 100, charged that Emanuel and Alvarez were "complicit in the corrupt cover-up in the murder of Laquan McDonald."

 Local MoveOn.org field director Matt Blizek said Mayor Emanuel
Local MoveOn.org field director Matt Blizek said Mayor Emanuel "has lost the confidence of the residents of the City of Chicago" and should resign.
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DNAinfo/Ted Cox

"They're only concerned about their own skins," said Roshoundria Leach, of the Service Employees International Union's Healthcare Illinois local. "We need leaders that care about all the people of the city, and not just their own careers."

Matt Blizek, an Avondale resident and local field director for MoveOn.org, questioned Emanuel's involvement in the delayed release of the Laquan McDonald dashcam video showing the 17-year-old being shot 16 times by officer Jason Van Dyke. "He tried to cover it up," Blizek said. "Rahm Emanuel has lost the confidence of the residents of the City of Chicago, and for that he must resign."

"If the City of Chicago wants to have the trust of the people, Rahm Emanuel must resign," added Daniel Hernandez of the Latino Coalition for Change.

Even so, Scott Roberts, of colorofchange.org, allowed that only about 5 percent of the petition signatures were from Chicagoans.

Protesters marched from the Thompson Center to City Hall, delivering petition signatures by flash drive to the Mayor's Office and then to Alvarez.

Neither would comment on the petition or its demands. Both Alvarez and Emanuel have resisted suggestions they resign in the midst of the controversy.

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