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Kim Foxx plays victim, hints at race being a factor in critics motives against her: ‘This is personal’

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Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx wondered aloud about the motive for the calls for her to resign in the wake of the Jussie Smollett case.

The embattled prosecutor, who has been under intense backlash following a decision to abruptly drop a 16-count indictment against the “Empire” actor accused of staging a fake hate crime against himself, defended her actions and vowed to remain in office during a press conference Saturday.

Joined by Rev. Jesse Jackson at Rainbow PUSH headquarters, Foxx noted how her past criminal justice efforts are now overshadowed and “being attacked because of one case and one celebrity.”

“I have been asking myself for the last two weeks what is this really about,” she said, according to The Associated Press.

“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,” she added, “that when we get in these positions somehow the goalposts change.”

Foxx insisted that Smollett did not receive special treatment, declaring nearly 6,000 other “low-level defendants” received the same treatment of a process called “deferred prosecution.”

“The efforts that I’ve had on criminal justice reform that were once celebrated by many in this county, that are now being attacked because of one case and one celebrity — I think we have to ask ourselves: What is this really about?” Foxx said.

“I cannot run an office that is driven by anger and public sentiment,” she continued. “I must run an office that looks at the facts, the evidence, and the law on every case. That is my responsibility when I look back at how we have wrongful convictions in the circumstances around them and some that we’re hiding of media attention and others that were not, I cannot put ourselves in the position of being driven by public. We must be driven by the facts the evidence and the law always.”

Foxx added that she was “undaunted by the events of the last two weeks” and continues to welcome an outside review of Smollett’s case. She also let it be known that she is “committed to serving my term and, should the people have me, continuing forward.”

According to the Chicago Tribune:

A former assistant state’s attorney in Foxx’s office filed a petition seeking a special prosecutor to look into the case and determine whether Smollett should be recharged with staging a hate crime, and whether Foxx or people who work for her interfered with the investigation.

A former Illinois Appellate Court judge also requested a special prosecutor investigation, and a group of suburban police chiefs gave Foxx a vote of no confidence.

 

The Chicago Fraternal Order of Police and the police chiefs associations held a vote of no confidence last week for the top prosecutor in Chicago, who had initially recused herself in the Smollet case. Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush  and activist Ja’Mal Green fired back in their defense of Foxx on Saturday, calling the FOP “a sworn enemy of black people.”

“I have never, will never, speak ill of our partners in this work,” Foxx said Saturday.“Even though there are challenges between any relationship, you have never seen the Cook County state’s attorney stand in any podium, stand in any room and disrespect or disregard any of those partners.”

“Somehow when you do the best and if you put our office on national standards there are people watching what we’re doing in Cook County around criminal justice reform and yet and yet, so I will tell you that this is personal,” she added.

Several news outlets suggested that Foxx’s remarks implied that race or sexism played a part in the criticism being leveled against her in the wake of the controversial decision,

“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,” The Washington Times reported.

The State’s Attorney “suggested racism has been behind the large amount of criticism she and her office has received,” Mediaite reported.

And The Blaze reported that Foxx “wondered aloud whether racism and/or sexism has played a role in criticism lobbed her way since her controversial decision.”

Frieda Powers

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