Police chiefs join union in calls for Foxx’s resignation
Chicago’s police union and a group of suburban police chiefs called for the resignation of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx after holding votes of no confidence, they said in a press conference Thursday.
The Chicago Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and the police chiefs associations voted more than a week after Foxx’s office dropped all charges against actor Jussie Smollett. FOP President Kevin Graham said the move undermined the public’s faith in the criminal justice system.
But, the leaders insisted, their issues with Foxx did not start with Smollett, who was accused of fabricating an possible hate crime against himself to bolster his profile and his career.
“This is not just about Jussie Smollett,” Graham said. “This is about many cases in the Cook County system that have gone unprosecuted, or having charges reduced.”
“The people standing around me can give you countless examples of how Ms. Foxx’s lack of prosecution has caused our members and police officers throughout this country an enormous amount of problems,” he said, “not to mention that people in Cook County are depending on the prosecutor to put people in jail, to charge them accordingly.”
Foxx said in a statement that she had no plans to resign. “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.”
Not the first time union called for Foxx to resign
The union’s calls for Foxx’s resignation are not new.
The FOP protested Foxx on Monday and called for her to resign for failing to follow through on charges that used significant police resources. The union has also called for a federal investigation into Foxx’s involvement in the Smollett case.
The protests came a week after her office dropped 16 felony charges against the “Empire” actor, who agreed to forfeit $10,000 in bail and do community service.
Foxx has previously said she welcomes an “outside, nonpolitical review” into how her office handled the Smollett case. She had separated herself from decision-making in the case in mid-February out of “an abundance of caution.”
Other police leaders, like Duane Mellema, head of the North Suburban Association of Chiefs of Police, pointed to other policy issues and breakdowns in communication they say have cost individual police departments time and resources.
“Unilateral decisions to not prosecute a number of state statutes, or to alter the parameters for charging well beyond the legal requirements, make appropriate prosecution of crimes including retail theft, cannabis possession, suspended and unlicensed driving all but impossible for us,” Mellema said.
Not all of Chicago’s police leadership was present at the union’s press conference; Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson was notably absent.
Asked specifically about Johnson, Graham said the superintendent was “aware of this and he can speak for himself.”
The three police chiefs’ associations say they represent all police departments in Cook County, according to CNN affiliate WLS. Pressed by reporters, the heads of the police chiefs’ associations would not say specifically how many police chiefs participated in the vote of no confidence.