Chicago State’s Attorney Kim Foxx is under fire. On January 29, C-list actor Jussie Smollett filed a hilariously bogus crime report detailing being attacked by the only two guys owning MAGA hats in the City of Chicago and escaping with no visible injuries and his Subway sandwich intact. A subsequent investigation established that the entire thing was simply bad street theater orchestrated by Smollett to, it appears, raise his personal profile. On March 8, he was indicted on 16 felony counts. Then the fun, and by fun I mean typically Chicago, stuff happened. An aide to Michelle Obama “visited” Foxx on March 13, and on March 26 Foxx announced all charges were dropped.
The Chicago PD went mildly apesh**. So did Rahm Emanuel. The Illinois Prosecutors Bar Association wrote a scathing letter branding the preferential treatment meted out to Smollett as being unprecedented even in a state where justice is routinely “adjusted” to account for political alliances and family connections.
Now Foxx has responded. In an op-ed that ran Friday in the Chicago Tribune, Foxx claimed that the charges were dismissed because Chicago PD screwed the pooch and, beyond that, those other prosecutors are morons who don’t even understand their jobs.
So, why isn’t Smollett in prison or at least on trial? There are two different answers to this, both equally important.
First, the law. There were specific aspects of the evidence and testimony presented to the office that would have made securing a conviction against Smollett uncertain. In determining whether or not to pursue charges, prosecutors are required to balance the severity of the crime against the likelihood of securing a conviction. For a variety of reasons, including public statements made about the evidence in this case, my office believed the likelihood of securing a conviction was not certain.
Yep, that’ll work. We have documentary evidence and two cooperating witnesses, not to mention Smollett’s own bullsh** account, and yet the very office that obtained SIXTEEN felony counts from a grand jury doesn’t think it can win on any of them. Right.
This is how one of Smollett’s major fluffers, Sopan Deb, sees it:
Back to Foxx:
Another key factor is that the crime here was a Class 4 felony, the least serious category, which also covers things like falsely pulling a fire alarm in school and “draft card mutilation.” These felonies are routinely resolved, particularly in cases involving suspects with no prior criminal record, long before a case ever nears a courtroom and often without either jail time or monetary penalties. Any prosecutor, law-enforcement leader or elected official not grandstanding or clouded by political expediency understands the purpose of sentencing guidelines.
But more important than the dispassionate legal justification, there was another reason that I believe our decision not to prosecute the case was the right one.
Yes, falsely reporting a hate crime makes me angry, and anyone who does that deserves the community’s outrage. But, as I’ve said since before I was elected, we must separate the people at whom we are angry from the people of whom we are afraid. I am angry at anyone who falsely reports a crime. I am afraid when I see a little girl shot dead while sitting on her mother’s lap. I am afraid when I see a CPD commander slain by a four-time felon who was walking the streets. I am also afraid when I see CPD resources used to initially cover up the shooting death of Laquan McDonald.
I was elected on a promise to rethink the justice system, to keep people out of prison who do not pose a danger to the community. I promised to spend my office’s finite resources on the most serious crimes in order to create communities that are both safer and fairer.
This is total bullsh**. Smollett held a press conference proclaiming his innocence. What Foxx did here was let a politically connected guy–and let’s just say it, a politically connected gay black guy–walk because the crime he alleged was something that Foxx and her ilk believe could have taken place and, truth be known, were probably orgasmic after the initial crime report. Foxx has made a statement the it is okay to make false hate crimes reports in Chicago so long as you are the correct victim and you finger the usual suspects.
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