The face of the protests so far has been 16-year-old Lamon Reccord. His staring contests with officers have featured on cable news channels and in the world’s most widely read English-language news site, the Daily Mail.
According to his LinkedIn networking profile, Reccord began helping Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’s challenger Kimberly Foxx in September — well before the release of the police video of McDonald being shot.
Reccord also has worked as an intern for a nonprofit group called Chicago Votes. The organization’s former executive director is Foxx’s campaign manager, and one of its longtime board members is the campaign’s spokeswoman.
He should be commended for getting involved in civic life even before he’s old enough to vote, at an age when many peers appear more interested in video games.
But Reccord’s recent trajectory makes me wonder if the protesters include many newly converted critics of the local political powerhouses or largely the same players who couldn’t unseat Emanuel in last spring’s unprecedented runoff election.
Other protesters who’ve been widely quoted by media include hardened veterans of the battles with Emanuel over school closings and a minister who got just 7 percent of the vote to finish fourth in a six-way aldermanic race earlier this year.
Is this an expanding movement that can generate waves of voters for anti-establishment candidates? Or are the protesters mostly people who already were firmly against the mayor and Alvarez, even before the McDonald video exploded into public view?