Chicago’s Top Prosecutor Kim Foxx Says Claim by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Police Chief That She Doesn’t Do Enough to Bring Looters to Justice Is ‘Simply Not True’
Lauren Edmonds, Daily Mail, August 11, 2020
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was at odds with top prosecutor Kim Foxx on Monday after she suggested the surge of lootings on a lack of serious charges earlier this summer that may have encouraged more of the same.
All eyes were on Chicago Sunday evening as scores of residents were seen breaking into stores and vandalizing property in a show a widespread looting along Magnificent Mile.
A clash between the Chicago Police Department and civilians upset over false claims of an officer-involved shooting of a minor resulted in an embattled night of unrest.
More than 100 people were arrested and 13 police officers were injured.
In a press conference, Mayor Lightfoot vehemently condemned the looting and tersely asked the Cook County State Attorney’s Office to effectively step up to the plate.
‘I call upon our state’s attorney and our courts to make sure these individuals are arrested and held accountable,’ said Lightfoot.
‘Put your best people on this. We have made the case – these people need to be held accountable. ‘We can’t continue to allow this to happen,’ she said.
‘We woke up in shock this morning. These individuals engaged in brazen destruction.
‘This had nothing to do with legitimate protected First Amendment speech. Regardless what occurred in our downtown was abject criminal behavior, pure and simple.’
Lightfoot suggested that Foxx’s office apparently shirked its responsibility to bring Chicagoans engaging in public defacement and looting to justice.
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown shared the sentiment, adding that a lack of serious charges against defendants during instances of looting in May and June may have emboldened some.
According to Brown, the reportedly relaxed charges led to defendants being released quickly and sending them back onto the streets.
‘These criminals were emboldened by no consequences in the criminal system,’ he said.
But Foxx defended herself against a barrage of claims that she hasn’t done enough to keep looters off of the streets.
In a separate, dueling press conference on Monday, Foxx insisted that the idea her office is not seriously pursuing defendants is untrue.
‘The notion that people believe they are somehow empowered because people weren’t prosecuted for looting back in the wake of the unrest beginning is simply not true,’ said Foxx.
She instead passed some of the blame onto the Chicago Police Department, which she said only considered 325 looting arrests felonies.
She added that around 300 defendants have been charged with felonies dating back to early June, and that city courts only recently reopened in July so cases are still pending.
Foxx noted that while prosecutors can recommend bail, the final decision falls on judges to set the price.
‘Those cases are coming to court now. we are now in the August hearing and status dates now,’ she said. ABC 7 reports.
So far, none of those hundreds of cases have been tied and many were granted pre-trial release amid COVID-19 public health protocols.
‘And what we have said to CPD and our other partners is, ‘bring us cases where people are committing those acts and we will pursue them,’ said Foxx, Fox 32 reports.
A spokesperson for Foxx said the assistant state’s attorneys were collaborating with the Chicago Police Department to review video that could identify looters at the scene.
On Monday, Lightfoot warned looters who ransacked the city that they are already being hunted by police who are reviewing HD security camera footage from the chaos which saw more than 100 arrests, attacks on 13 police officers and widespread unrest.
The chaos began on Sunday afternoon when police responded to Englewood where there had been complaints of a man with a gun. The suspect has not been named but was described by police on Monday as a 20-year-old man with a criminal history that includes charges of burglary, child endangerment and assault and battery.
When officers arrived at the scene, he began running and opened fire on them as they pursued him. The cops returned fire, wounding him, and arrested him. He was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive.
A different story spread among residents of the neighborhood who were told that the police officers had inadvertently shot a child. Crowds gathered in protest, creating a tense stand-off that lasted several hours and was described by Deputy Police Chief Yolanda Talley as ‘very hostile’.
In response to that incident, people on social media organized for a caravan of cars to descend on the city’s downtown shopping district to loot. Police found out about the posts and within 15 minutes, were downtown but the violence had begun.
Cars plowed through storefronts to give the crowds easy access and despite there being 400 officers dispatched to the area, the cops struggled to keep up with the crowds.
One officer was attacked with a bottle, another had his nose broken and a group of different officers were shot at by drive-by assailants while trying to arrest other looters.
Police were still arresting people at a Best Buy, which was among the stores that had been ransacked on Monday morning.
Some of the city’s bridges were raised and tunnels were closed while police tried to regain control of the situation.