Kimberly Foxx, the first African American woman to serve as Cook County State’s Attorney in Chicago, is facing serious criticism for her handling of the entire Jussie Smollett debacle.
Foxx and her office stunned the country by suddenly announcing that they were dropping all charges against the “Empire” actor. The announcement came just weeks after Smollett was indicted on 16 felony counts of filing a false police report in connection with his claims that he was the victim of a hate crime.
Foxx originally recused herself from the case last month shortly before the charges were handed down, and delegated the case to her deputy. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
At the time, a representative from the Cook County state’s attorney’s office said the recusal “was made to address potential questions of impartiality based upon familiarity with potential witnesses in the case.”
The Chicago Sun-Times later revealed that another Chicago lawyer, Tina Tchen, who was the former chief of staff to First Lady Michelle Obama, put Foxx in touch with members of the Smollett family, days after he told police his harrowing tale of the attack.
Now many, including the Chicago Police union, the Fraternal Order Of Police, are calling on the Department of Justice to investigate Foxx, and her role in the decision to drop all charges, claiming Smollett is receiving preferential treatment, born possibly out of his “celebrity” status.
“The FOP is outraged by the decision to drop charges against Smollett, but not surprised,” the union said in an emailed statement to NBC News. “Since Kimberly Foxx has taken office, she has transformed the prosecutor’s office to a political arm of the anti-police movement. We renew our call for a federal investigation of her role in this case and expect the media to conduct a thorough investigation.”
Foxx, through her spokesperson, Tandra Simonton insisted that the Smollett case was handled no differently from the more than 5,700 other cases that result in “alternative prosecution,” claiming that this practice is not new or unusual.
“We did not exonerate Mr. Smollett,” Simonton said after the charges were dropped. “The charges were dropped in return for Mr. Smollett’s agreement to do community service and forfeit his $10,000 bond to the City of Chicago. Without the completion of these terms, the charges would not have been dropped. This outcome was met under the same criteria that would occur for and is available to any defendant with similar circumstances.”