Jussie Smollett Prosecutor Is Now Letting Off Hundreds of Protestors

Jussie Smollett Prosecutor Is Now Letting Off Hundreds of Protestors

The state attorney whose office dropped charges against Jussie Smollett in his high-profile hate crime hoax case announced on Tuesday she would do the same for hundreds of Chicago-area protesters.

Kim Foxx told local news outlets her Cook County office will begin next week dropping misdemeanor charges against as many as 817 defendants arrested during sometimes-violent protests against police and racism.
  • Prosecutors will be instructed to review disorderly conduct, public demonstration and unlawful gathering charges with "presumption of dismissal,” she said.
  • Resisting arrest, mob action and aggravated battery to a police officer, she said, will be dismissed in the absence of incriminating body cam or dash cam footage.
Foxx, a Democrat, said her leniency was motivated by a lack of resources and cited a 10-percent budget cut to her office announced earlier in the day.
  • She used the same justification for her controversial policy of not bringing felony charges against shoplifters caught with less than $1,000 worth of stolen goods.
“The question it comes down to is, is it a good use of our time and resources?” she said to the Chicago Sun-Times. “No, it’s not.”

Last March, Foxx dropped felony disorderly conduct charges against Smollett, a black and openly gay actor, over his alleged faking of a bigoted attack against himself.
  • The move drew widespread condemnation, including from Chicago officials and police.
  • Smollett was again indicted for allegedly lying to police in February 2020 as part of an investigation of Foxx's alleged mishandling of the case. 
  • The actor has maintained his innocence.
Foxx, while admitting she did not handle the Smollett prosecution well, has decried the new charges and defended her record as a progressive prosecutor.

She has often sought to portray herself as an answer to President Donald Trump. 
  • When protests against police erupted in late May, Foxx called Trump’s threat to crackdown on rioters “hateful and racist rhetoric.”
  • In a June 10 op-ed for the Sun-Times, she voiced support for the protests and said racism in America is “intentional and structural.”
  • Foxx later announced she was ending her office’s tradition of cutting prosecutors’ necktimes after they won their first case, saying it might be based on racism and lynching.
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