Action Now Statement on Ronald Johnson Murder & Cover-up

Another Black man is dead and Alvarez gives the world another opportunity to see her at her best; a calculating, calloused and corrupt official who bastardizes justice. Any statement from Alvarez is not only incredulous, but hearing her blame a victim for his own death is revolting. The police do not get to decide who lives and dies. Alvarez’ office does not get to decide which victims are worthy of our sympathy and which “deserved it”. I am tired of seeing headlines with black youth being “killed” by police. These youth are being murdered, not just killed. You murder someone when you shoot them in the back while they are running away. You murder someone when within moments of arriving you pull a gun out and fire 16 shots. No Black youth is safe as long as Alvarez is State’s Attorney and she chooses to protect murderers instead of victims.

Alvarez tried to use the police dashboard camera footage as evidence that police acted within accordance to the law. The video clearly shows Ronald Johnson running away from police officers while Officer George Hernandez fires five shots at him with the fatal one hitting Johnson in the back. The video contradicts the initial police reports of last year’s shooting that said Johnson was turning around to fire the alleged weapon. How many more videos do we have to see until we realize that Alvarez has more than skeletons in her political closet. She has entire graveyards.

We are deeply saddened by the death of a young black man who the people we elect and officers sworn to serve and protect the public failed. Elected officials have failed black neighborhoods for decades through disinvestment, closing schools, and cutting funding to much need public programs. The police department have failed black neighborhoods by viewing young black men and women as threats instead of lives worth protecting.

Alvarez and her office botched the trial against Dante Servin after he murdered Rekia Boyd. She allowed Jason Van Dyke to remain a police officer after he murdered Laquan McDonald. Today, she condoned the shooting and murder of Ronald Johnson.

Last week, Action Now and partner organizations delivered over 35,000 petition signatures to the State’s Attorney’s office calling on Alvarez to resign. We stand by that demand, and encourage others to make sure that this is her last term in office.

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