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The head of the Chicago police union has requested assistance from the U.S. Department of Justice after a controversial city prosecutor whose campaign was funded in part by billionaire Leftist George Soros has refused to prosecute tens of thousands of felonies.
In a letter, Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara called on U.S. Attorney John R. Lausch Jr. to file federal charges against scores of people arrested for looting and causing damage during recent riots.
Catanzara also criticized Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx over her failure to prosecute more than 25,000 felony cases, including some murder charges.
The FOP chief also said that Chicago PD officers have been embattled and on the front lines of the continued unrest since May, following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“Our members were subject to threats both verbally and physically, were battered with all types of bricks and rocks and stood the line to help protect the citizens and their property,” he wrote.
“Our officers did this with the understanding that the looters and criminals would be prosecuted and held to account for their actions. It appears that this is not going to happen.”
Catanzara’s request for federal assistance follows a combative press conference on Tuesday, in which Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Foxx both pushed back on allegations that they weren’t pursuing enough prosecutions against violent looters and rioters, including many who were involved in the theft of stores the city’s Magnificent Mile. Some looters brought in U-Haul vans and used specific tools to break into stores, suggesting that the raids were pre-planned.
Lightfoot clapped back at ABC-7’s Craig Wall after the reporter asked Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown if he believes that city officials and prosecutors weren’t doing enough to punish wrongdoing.
“Don’t take it from me, just go by what they’ve done … just go by what they’ve done, there were no consequences for the people arrested,” Brown said, causing Lightfoot to interject.
“Don’t bait us. No, don’t — do not bait us,” she said. “Do not bait us. This is a serious situation. People are concerned about their safety. Officers are concerned about their safety. So don’t bait us.
“What we’re saying is after a result of what happened last night there has to be consequences,” Lightfoot said, claiming that police were working to identify suspects.
“When we do and we do make those arrests, our expectation is that this is going to be treated with the level of seriousness that it should be. Period,” she continued.
But an analysis by the Chicago Tribune found that Foxx — who gained notoriety for refusing to prosecute actor Jussie Smollett despite evidence gathered by Chicago police that he staged an alleged racial attack against himself — has dropped in excess of 25,000 felony cases.
“In all, a total of 25,183 people had their felony cases dismissed under Foxx through November 2019, up from 18,694 for a similar period under Alvarez,” the paper reported.
Foxx, whose 2016 campaign was funded in part by a political action committee tied to Soros, has “very plainly and without explanations has decreed that her office has instituted a ‘presumption of dismissal’ for a host of charges, Cantanzara wrote.
“She makes this proclamation under some arbitrary theory that the offenders were protestors and somehow had the right to commit crimes due the unfortunate death of George Floyd in Minnesota,” he said, adding that Chicago police only arrest lawbreakers, not peaceful protesters.
“As President Trump has said, these individuals were simply criminals and domestic terrorists,” he said, adding it’s “time for the State’s Attorney of Cook County to do her job, or if she refuses, the United States Attorney’s Office to step in.”
At the press conference earlier this week, Foxx hinted that Chicago police were at fault for her office’s reduced prosecutions.
“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,’” she said.
Foxx campaigned in 2016 “vowing to reform the criminal justice system and reduce the population of Cook County Jail,” the Chicago Tribune reported. She is up for reelection in November.
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