CHICAGO — Suburban police chiefs joined the head of Chicago’s police union to jointly call for the resignation of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx Thursday at the Fraternal Order of Police headquarters.
The FOP and the chiefs have never been big fans of Foxx, but she came under extra scrutiny and even protest for her handling of the Jussie Smollett case. Union President Kevin Graham said chiefs are upset over cases in Cook County that, “have gone un-prosecuted, or having charges reduced.” Groups representing police chiefs in the north, west, and south suburbs all approved votes of “no confidence” in Foxx ahead of Thursday’s announcement.
“What she is doing is enabling the offenders; bad guys are not being held accountable,” said Chief Steven Stelter, West Suburban Chiefs Association.
As for Foxx, her office said she doesn’t plan on resigning.
“I was elected by the people of Cook County to pursue community safety, prevent harm, and uphold the values of fairness and equal justice. I’m proud of my record in doing that, and I plan to do so through the end of my term and, if the people so will it, into the future,” Foxx said in a statement.
While the chiefs say they speak with one voice against Foxx, African American leaders were conspicuously absent from the stage Thursday. Sean Howard, a spokesperson for some suburban police departments, called the press conference “nothing more than a political stunt.”
“To suggest that the African American police chiefs are in agreement with this alleged vote of no confidence is baseless and without merit,” Howard said in a statement. “I’ve spoken to quite a few Police Chiefs who have shared that they strongly disagree with position of the SSPCA. In fact, they are pleased with their daily working relationship with the States Attorney’s office.”
Based in Texas, the National Black Police Association issued a statement Thursday, saying they support a review of the decision to drop charges in the Smollett case, but don’t support complaints from officials about the decision, or the groups calling for Foxx’s resignation.
At the center of it all is the case of former “Empire” star Jussie Smollett, who was charged with 16 counts of felony disorderly conduct for allegedly staging a hate crime. Foxx recused herself from the case, citing “potential questions of impartiality” because she intervened early on, on behalf of Smollett family friend and former Michelle Obama aide Tina Tchen.
When all 16 counts were later dropped, police came out in opposition of the decision, while Foxx said the final outcome was an example of an “alternative prosecution.”
“Based on the nature of the offense and his background, this was a just outcome,” she said. “Justice takes many forms.”
Foxx took over the office of Cook County State’s Attorney after beating her predecessor, Anita Alvarez, who at the time was battling fallout from her handling of a different high-profile case, the fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald and prosecution of Jason Van Dyke.
Meanwhile, Entertainment Tonight is reporting Smollett will be back on “Empire.”