Alvarez has faced intense criticism over how long it took but has defended the investigation by saying it’s important to be thorough before indicting a police officer because of the difficulty of getting a conviction in such cases.
“My point was the following: Laquan McDonald, there wasn’t fairness, there wasn’t justice for him,” Gutierrez said of his decision not to endorse Alvarez after having done so in the past. “I thought her office took just too long, 14 months.”
Gutierrez pointed out he didn’t call for Alvarez to step down over the delay, noting that her powerful position has been a point of pride for Cook County Latinos.
“I mean, she’s a symbol of pride for us, especially being, my last name is Gutierrez. I’m proud when somebody named Alvarez does so well. And I touted that everywhere I went,” the congressman said while appearing with Mayor Emanuel at a Friday citizenship event for immigrants in Pilsen. “But notwithstanding that, I had to say to Anita, ‘I’m not going to be part of your re-election efforts.'”
Though it was difficult to step away from Alvarez, Gutierrez said he expects to not remain neutral in the primary race between Alvarez and challengers Donna More and Kim Foxx.
“I will eventually make an announcement,” he said when asked if he was staying out of the race. The election takes place March 15. (John Byrne)
*606 trail homes protest: Protesters held an event Saturday against new luxury homes going up in Humboldt Park near the 606 bike trail. Fears that gentrification would push residents out of their homes accompanied the trail’s opening last year, as the Tribune chronicled.
*Kelly Nobel nomination: The deadline for nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize is Monday, and Democratic U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly of Matteson will join other elected officials on the South Side to announce they are recommending Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church of Charleston, S.C., for the honor.
The church is where nine people, including the pastor, were killed last June in a racially motivated rampage by a man who had dropped in for a Bible study meeting.
President Barack Obama later eulogized the victims and sang “Amazing Grace” at a memorial service. Families of some victims expressed forgiveness for the assailant or urged him to repent.
Kelly has been working on the nomination with House Democrat James Clyburn of South Carolina and others, an aide to Kelly said.
The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to 129 Nobel laureates since 1901. Obama won the prize in 2009. (Katherine Skiba)
*The Sunday Spin: On this week’s show on WGN-720 AM, statehouse public radio reporter Amanda Vinicky talked about Gov. Rauner’s State of the State speech. And Tribune political writer Rick Pearson led a roundtable discussion on the Iowa caucuses with Monmouth College professor and political strategist Robin Johnson, former Iowa GOP chairman Matt Strawn, Argus/Dispatch Managing Editor Roger Ruthhart and retired Tribune reporter Bob Secter. Full show here.
Follow the money
*Democratic Senate President John Cullerton continues to collect union campaign contributions. On Friday, he reported $88,400 to his namesake campaign fund, including $48,900 from a Service Employees Healthcare PAC. And the Senate Democratic Victory Fund reported collecting $259,400, including $53,900 from the SEIU health-care PAC, $53,900 from the Working Forward PAC (a trial lawyer’s fund), $48,900 from AFSCME Council 31 and $21,600 each from ComEd and Exelon.
*Track campaign contribution reports in real time with this Tribune Twitter account: https://twitter.com/ILCampaignCash
*Presidential race, Republican side: Des Moines Register poll has Trump over Cruz ahead of today’s caucuses.
*Presidential race, Democratic side: And Clinton has a slim lead over Sanders as she tries to avoid potential 0-for-2 start.
*That NYT presidential candidates’ video.
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