Chicago, IL – The Reverend Jesse Jackson held a press conference in support of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx to counter the public protest led by the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and area police chiefs.
The event was advertised to have black police chiefs that were supposed to showed up to support the beleaguered prosecutor.
But after no evidence of any police chiefs supporting her, Foxx claimed that her meeting with her alleged supporter was private.
“Ms. Foxx needs to resign and she should do it quickly,” Chicago FOP President Kevin Graham said during a press conference on April 4, WTTW reported.
The North Suburban Association Chiefs of Police have also issued a vote of no confidence in response to Foxx’s handling of “Empire” star Jussie Smollett’s case.
The president of that group, Duane Mellema, called the Smollett case the “latest and most egregious example of the failure by you and your staff to hold offenders accountable.”
Jackson, whose Rainbow PUSH Coalition provided the letter claiming Smollett had performed 16 hours of community service, has staunchly defended the state’s attorney, FOX News reported.
But despite the advance advertising that law enforcement leadership of color would be taking the stage with Foxx, there were no black police chiefs in attendance at the press conference, according to CWB Chicago.
Foxx has been the target of complaints from the Chicago mayor, law enforcement, and various bar associations after she dropped all 16 charges against the actor despite assertions that her office does not believe Smollett is innocent.
Smollett was arrested and charged with felony disorderly conduct for staging a hoax hate crime on himself on Jan. 29.
He is still under investigation by federal authorities for a threatening letter they believe he sent to himself at the television studio a week before the faked attack.
After the charges were dropped, Foxx claimed that Smollett’s case had been handled like any other case, but then was exposed by the release of an internal memo that showed her office scrambling to justify the dismissal.
The FOP has called for a federal investigation into Foxx’s interference in the case after she initially claimed she had recused herself because she’d been communication with members of the Smollett family; however, after the charges were dropped, her office claimed the state’s attorney had only recused herself “colloquially” and not formally.
Jackson’s rally was attended by about 20 supporters, but the FOP protest demanding Foxx’s resignation attracted hundreds of people, according to Windy City Media Group.
The Reverend Al Sharpton joined Jackson in defending the black, female prosecutor and tried to make the Smollett case about race, calling Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel a hypocrite, the Chicago Tribune reported. Chicago Tribune
“There is a marked difference between how they reacted to this and how they reacted to the Laquan McDonald case. They were not outraged when the video was withheld until after the mayor’s election,” Sharpton complained, referring to Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. “There was a fox in the henhouse then, but the fox wasn’t Kim then. The name of that fox was whoever was in the mayor’s race.”
However, the shooting of Laquan McDonald was a real event which was actually prosecuted.
A south suburban mayor told WCB Chicago that Foxx met privately with a group of black police chiefs and south suburban mayors ahead of the actual press conference with Jackson, but offered no explanation as to why the law enforcement officials were not present – as advertised – for the main event.
Foxx reiterated at the rally that she does not plan to step down from her position, WTTW reported.
“I was elected by the people of Cook County to pursue community safety, prevent harm, and uphold the values of fairness and equal justice,” she said. “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.”
The FOP president said that problems with Foxx started long before Smollett faked the hate crime against himself.
“This didn’t start with Jussie Smollett,” Graham said. “It’s a continuous problem. We need to have a prosecutor who is going to charge people when they commit a crime. If there’s no charges and nobody goes to jail then obviously the law doesn’t mean anything to anyone. That’s a problem.”