Emily Crane, Daily Mail, April 8, 2019
Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush has called the Chicago police union the ‘sworn enemy of black people’ as he defended prosecutor Kim Foxx in the wake of the Jussie Smollett saga.
Rush slammed the Fraternal Order of Police on Saturday following their repeated calls for Foxx, the Cook County State’s Attorney, to resign after her office dismissed charges against Smollett.
‘The FOP is the sworn enemy of black people, the sworn enemy of black people,’ the Democratic Congressman said.
‘The FOP has always taken the position that black people can be shot down in the street by members of the Chicago Police Department, and suffer no consequences.
‘Let’s be clear: Kim Foxx, her battle, is with the FOP and all of their cohorts.’
His comments came after 300 people, including off-duty Chicago police officers, protested outside Foxx’s office last week over her handling of Smollett’s case.
The actor was accused of staging what he claimed to be a racist and homophobic attack in January.
Among those calling for Foxx’s resignation was the president of the police union, Kevin Graham.
He said the Smollett saga was the ‘tip of the iceberg’ for local authorities upset with Foxx and they had taken a formal vote to show the group’s lack of support for her.
‘We’re saying: this is enough,’ Graham said during an appearance on ‘America’s Newsroom’ on Friday. ‘We’re asking for her to step down, the FOP in Chicago took a vote of no confidence and so did the police chiefs around Cook County.’
Foxx defended the decision to drop the Empire actor’s charges during a press conference on Saturday, saying Smollett was treated no differently than thousands of other defendants whose charges were similarly dropped since she took office.
She made the comments during a defiant and emotional address at the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.’s Rainbow Push Coalition.
Foxx openly wondered if her race had something to do with the harsh criticism she’s faced since her office announced that charges against Smollett had been dropped.
‘I have been asking myself for the last two weeks what is this really about,’ she said. ‘As someone who has lived in this city, who came up in the projects of this city to serve as the first African American woman in this role, it is disheartening to me … that when we get in these positions somehow the goalposts change.’
Foxx, who recused herself from the case after she communicating with a Smollett relative during the probe, reiterated that she welcomes of an independent investigation into the way she and her office handled the case.
She also reminded the audience that her office did the same thing for the nearly 6,000 low-level defendants who had their charges dropped with ‘deferred prosecution’ during her tenure.
Further, she said that under the law, Smollett could be fined a maximum of $10,000 and that the actor did pay that amount because his $10,000 bond was forfeited.
But Foxx did not address specifics of the case, or the criticism leveled by legal experts and others who said it was highly unusual not to require an admission of guilt by Smollett, particularly since at the time they dropped charges, prosecutors said they believed they could have proven the charges against the actor.
Foxx also responded to the calls by various critics to resign, saying that she will complete her term that ends next year and has plans to run for re-election.