Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx has been under intense fire since her office dropped all the criminal charges against Jussie Smollett after he was indicted for allegedly orchestrating a hate crime.
But now she’s questioning if that wrath from the Chicago PD and the mayor has more to do with her race after she was scrutinized and publicly eviscerated with calls for her resignation for opting out of prosecuting the Empire star reports USA Today.
“I have been asking myself for the last two weeks, ‘What is this really about?'” she said on Saturday during a speech at Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition.
“As someone who has lived in this city (Chicago), 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 … that when we get in these positions, somehow the goalposts change.”
She continued: “This is personal.”
Foxx has been heavily criticized for how her office handled Smollett’s case. Smollett was charged with 16 felony counts for the alleged fake crime hoax, but dodged facing any prosecution – something upset both Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and former Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Emanuel said it was a “whitewash of justice.”
On the other hand, Foxx defended her office’s decision saying that the cases that come through her office are all handled with “dignity and honesty and integrity.” She noted that from the time Smollett got charged to the dismissal, her office had handled 2,900 cases.
Many cases she said don’t go all the way to trial and Foxx said her office often uses diversion or deferred prosecution on “low-level defendants” with “great frequency.”
“The efforts that I’ve had on criminal-justice reform, that were once celebrated by many in this county, are now being attacked because of one case and one celebrity,” she said. “I cannot run an office that is driven by anger and public sentiment.”