CHICAGO — What’s behind the spasm of violence now being experiencing in several major cities including Chicago? Research from a pro-police group blames local prosecutors and what they say is a declining conviction rate.
Eighty-seven were shot and 17 were killed over the Fourth of July weekend.
Chicago’s top cop, Supt. David Brown, quickly adapted an old refrain.
“You go from 9,600 people in our county jail in 2016 to 4,600 in 2020,” he said. “That is not sustainable. Many of these people came right back to the very communities where they committed their crimes to commit more crimes.”
The pro-police Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund is out with a new report called “Prosecutorial Malpractice.” They looked at felony conviction rates under Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and five other so called “social justice” prosecutors across the country.
They found Foxx’s predecessor Anita Alvarez had a 75% felony conviction rate compared to Foxx’s 65.8% felony conviction rate.
“It was worse than even we thought,” Jason Johnson, Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund member said.
Johnson said when criminals who use guns aren’t successfully prosecuted and put in prison, it leaves them free to commit other crimes.
“They’re not necessarily a murderer or shooter right now; but they’re in a position where at some point they’re going to be,” Johnson said. “They’re arming themselves. That is the time for there to be accountability.”
Kim Foxx is no stranger to criticism from police. But she insists bond reform and shifting resources away from lower level offenses helps the right the wrongs of what she calls “the failed war on drugs that disproportionately harmed communities of color.”
Foxx’s campaign spokesperson said, “The State’s Attorney has dedicated resources and attention on violent gun crimes, rather than low-level cases”
“All these things, to an extent, are perfectly acceptable and within the purview of any prosecutor to do,” Johnson said. “That’s why we elect professional prosecutors. But that then should be reflected in conviction rates and it’s not. The conviction rate is lower than previous administrations.”
The law enforcement legal defense fund claims “progressive prosectors,” as they call them, in places like Chicago, Baltimore and Dallas are undoing progress made in fighting crime in recent years.
Foxx insists this group is manipulating data to fit their political agenda.