Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.
   
     
     
     



State’s Attorney Kim Foxx bristles at insinuation her office’s handling of earlier cases emboldened looters

Monday, August 10, 2020
Chicago Tribune
by Megan Crepeau & Dan Hinkel

After looters caused mayhem on the Magnificent Mile early Monday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and police Superintendent David Brown pointed fingers at a now-familiar target: Cook County prosecutors and judges.

Without naming State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, Lightfoot called on prosecutors not to let suspects cycle through the system without consequences. And Brown went so far as to imply that looters reoffended this weekend after getting away with the same crimes during the widespread unrest earlier this year, eliminating any deterrent.

“(Suspects) get released, many charges get dropped, and so they feel emboldened to do it more,” he said. “Once prosecution and sentencing comes up, there’s no consequences.”

But Foxx, who is no stranger to accusations that she is soft on crime, flatly rejected that narrative at a news conference Monday. Her office has not dropped any looting cases related to recent unrest, she said, calling for a response “beyond a sound bite and a finger point.”

From late May to mid-June, about 325 people were arrested on felony charges “related to the demonstrations and civil unrest that followed the murder of George Floyd,” her office said in a statement Monday. Floyd’s death in Minneapolis after a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes sparked protests and fallout around the country, including Chicago.Of those Cook County felony arrests, 90% were approved for charges by Foxx’s office, she said. Three-quarters of the approved felony cases were for looting-related charges — and none of those has been dropped, Foxx said. The office did not immediately release a detailed list of those cases.

Lightfoot also declined to comment further on the point, with her office referring questions to the Police Department.

The unrest that began early Monday was evidently sparked after a Sunday afternoon shooting in the Englewood neighborhood.

Police there shot and wounded a 20-year-old man who allegedly opened fire on them while trying to evade arrest, authorities said. That man was charged with attempted murder late Monday.

Someone began to spread false information about the shooting, including that police had shot a child, according to Brown. After a heated scuffle between police and neighbors in the afternoon, groups began to plan downtown looting on social media, authorities said. More than 100 people ultimately were arrested in the chaos that followed.

Foxx warned against conflating her office’s treatment of felony charges with its recently announced policy encouraging prosecutors to drop cases related to peaceful protesters.

About 500 people arrested on misdemeanors during unrest earlier this summer would fall within that category, she said Monday: protesters accused of offenses such as violating curfew or disorderly conduct for declining to disperse in a timely manner.

“Looters have been charged and are awaiting trial. Peaceful protesters have not had their cases pursued,” she said.

A spokeswoman for the office could not provide an estimate of how many such misdemeanor cases have been dropped under the policy, since the office does not generally keep track of misdemeanor data, and people are just now beginning to go to their court dates as the system emerges from a COVID-related shutdown.

Critics said looters were additionally emboldened by a Foxx policy that raised the bar for prosecuting shoplifting as a felony — a theory Foxx also rejected Monday.

Retail theft charges are intended for people who walk out of an open store without paying for merchandise, not those who break into a store or loot, she said.

Foxx’s challenger in the November election, former Judge Pat O’Brien, said that retail theft may as well just be looting by another name, and that Foxx “has in fact made this town a free-for-all for people that want to steal.”

O’Brien also placed blame on Foxx for suspects getting more lenient bonds, even though judges are responsible for setting bail. Prosecutors can effectively sway judges to set bail in higher amounts, he said.

Brown and other critics, including downtown Ald. Brendan Reilly, 42nd, have recently placed the blame for violence on a “revolving-door” court system that sees more suspects released on low bail.

Foxx, Chief Judge Timothy Evans and other high-ranking county officials have supported reforms aimed at ensuring people get affordable bonds and do not stay locked up pending trial simply because they cannot pay to get out.

“Bond court is now known as i-bond court, because people are just getting released on personal recognizance, whatever the charge,” Reilly said.

In a statement Monday, Evans emphasized that defendants are innocent until proven guilty, and indicated that bonds should not be imposed as a form of punishment for a crime.

“The administration of justice requires that each case be adjudicated impartially and independently,” he said.

During her first three years as state’s attorney, her office dropped all charges against 29.9% of felony defendants. In the last three years of Alvarez’s tenure, the rate was 19.4%. 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.

For the three-year period analyzed, Foxx’s office dropped 8.1% of homicide cases, compared with 5.3% under Alvarez, the Tribune found.

And under Foxx, the percentage of cases dropped for defendants accused of aggravated battery of a police officer more than doubled, from 3.9% to 8.1%.

Foxx’s office did not dispute the figures, but she told the Tribune they give an incomplete picture of her approach to public safety. She said she has tried to allow her prosecutors to openly drop felony charges if a case has legal problems, and she pointed to the office’s many past wrongful convictions and the history of Chicago police detectives torturing people of color to get false confessions.

On Monday, Foxx noted that violent crime declined during the three-year period the story analyzed, and she disputed any implication that her office’s policies led to this year’s spike in violence.

Chicago Tribune’s John Byrne, Jeremy Gorner and Gregory Pratt contributed.

 

 

 



Recent Headlines

HACC Wait Listing Opening
Monday, September 21, 2020
Special to suffredin.org

A national group studied commercial property tax assessments in Cook County under the last assessor, Joe Berrios. The results were not pretty.
Monday, September 21, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Jail set for in-person voting despite COVID-19 setbacks: ‘It’s also about social justice, it’s about fairness, it’s about hope’
Monday, September 21, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Workdays for Perkins Woods
Monday, September 21, 2020
Special to suffredin.org

Illinois secretary of state’s office letter to voters causes confusion for some mail-in ballot applicants
Monday, September 21, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Confusion delivered in mail-in voting letters from Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White
Monday, September 21, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County watchdog heading for the exit
Friday, September 18, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County watchdog planning exit after helping find successor: ‘It’s good government’
Friday, September 18, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Bomb squad determines suspicious crate left outside Park Ridge Post Office did not pose threat
Friday, September 18, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Board of Ethics appoints new chair after previous two ousted amid earlier shakeups
Thursday, September 17, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Artist Builds Effigy Mounds to Honor Indigenous People in Cook County
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
WTTW News

Cook County on pace for more than 900 homicides in 2020: medical examiner
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Skokie seeks federal reimbursement for coronavirus-related expenses
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on Racial Equity Week
Monday, September 14, 2020
WTTW News

When Cook County inmates await trial for years, true justice is thwarted
Monday, September 14, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Illinois records 1,462 new COVID-19 cases, 14 additional deaths
Sunday, September 13, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Illinois tallies 2,121 more coronavirus cases, but testing positivity rate drops
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County health department announces plans to spend up to $5.4M fighting COVID-19 in most-affected areas
Friday, September 11, 2020
Chicago Tribune

The first COVID-19 patients in Illinois faced stigma, bigotry. But experts say their contributions to science taught the US much about the virus.
Friday, September 11, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Suburban Chicago mom of strangled teen: Why, after 10 years, has suspect still not gone to trial?
Friday, September 11, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP