Lake County residents hold a press conference in protest of an award being presented to Lake County’s nationally disgraced former State’s Attorney, Michael J. Waller
On Tuesday, March 12, at the City of Waukegan, 100 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave, at 12:00 p.m. (Noon), Lake County residents will hold a press conference outside the building. Also in attendance tomorrow will be Juan Rivera, Benny Starks, and Paul Calusinkski.
Denise Rotheimer, founder, Mothers On a Mission to Stop Violence, authored two state laws to prevent other crime victims from becoming further victimized by prosecutors throughout the criminal justice system. Rotheimer’s daughter, Jasmine courageously entered the system at the age of 12-years-old as a victim of sexual violence to seek justice by ensuring punishment for the offender. Instead, the prosecutor excluded Jasmine from attending the sentencing hearing, deprived her of presenting a victim-impact statement and failed to inform her of a plea offer that dismissed six of the seven charges and provided the rapist with a minimum prison sentence of six years. “My daughter and I were railroaded by the prosecutor because she sought to obtain a conviction without seeking justice. Waller’s administration became a national disgrace because of his practice of obtaining convictions without justice. Honoring Waller with an award for improving access to justice adds insult to injury,” says Rotheimer.
Brother Blanks, founding chief president, Black Abolition Movement for the Mind, assisted the family of 17-year-old Jeffery Lewis who was shot and killed by a Waukegan Police Officer. Lewis was killed in front of his mother for allegedly swinging a hammer at an officer while fighting with his brother on their front lawn. After his death, Lewis was vindicated of said allegations and his family filed a civil lawsuit against Waukegan Police Department. The department agreed to a monetary settlement with the Lewis family. However the officer who shot Lewis and was named as a defendant in the lawsuit remains on the force to this day. “This is just one of many homicide cases of excessive force and police brutality that former State’s Attorney Michael J. Waller refused to prosecute. Under the negligence and incompetence of Waller’s administration, families like the Lewis’ were denied access to justice. Waller’s blatant disrespect for the tax paying citizens of Lake County has made a mockery of our criminal justice system and the Constitution of the United States of America,” says Blanks.
Ralph Peterson, cousin of Daryl Hannah, fights tirelessly to expose the truth surrounding the fatal beating of his cousin by a North Chicago Police Officer. Under Waller’s administration, Hannah’s family has been denied access to justice because Waller refused to prosecute the offending officer. “It is a sad day in Lake County, IL when innocent people are unjustly sent to prison and the state’s attorney who is responsible is being recognized with an award despite his nefarious prosecutions. Myself and other citizens of Lake County are outraged that anyone would support or honor Michael J. Waller after he brought national shame on the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office. We refuse to sit idly by while being slapped in the face…this ceremony of celebrating Michael Waller is wrong and it sends the wrong message to our now elected State’s Attorney,” says Peterson.