FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 29, 2019
POLITICALLY MOTIVATED ATTACKS ON STATE’S ATTORNEY FOXX MUST STOP
A statement by Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.
CHICAGO – The attacks on Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx are politically motivated and must stop.
In recusing herself from the Jussie Smollett case, the progressive prosecutor did the legal and right thing as she has throughout her career.
When the state’s attorney recused herself, she left the matter in the capable hands of her first assistant, Joseph Magats, and his prosecutorial discretion. It was his decision – and within his purview – to dismiss the charges. It was the correct call, consistent with justice and mercy.
Showing integrity and leadership, former U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions also did the right thing when he recused himself from the investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign. He handed the investigation over to his top deputy and made no additional decisions in the matter. For being honorable and following the law, President Trump eventually fired him. That was a disgrace.
Chicago and Cook County are so much better than that.
The outrage over the Jussie Smollett case is misplaced and out of proportion. It is being used from City Hall to the White House to deflect and distract from City Hall to the White House. It is fake news. The voices that are crying out the loudest seem to have only recently found their sense of righteous indignation.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel chooses now to be outraged about “a whitewash of justice,” but where was his angry cry for equal justice and transparency during the 400-day cover up of the video showing the police murder of teenager, Laquan McDonald?
Talk about “a whitewash” and two sets of rules. It took a court order to release the hidden video of Laquan’s death in a hail of 16 police bullets. By the time the video was reluctantly released by the city and, according to media reports, the youth’s family had been quietly paid $5 million, Mayor Emanuel was safely reelected but only after the first mayoral runoff in Chicago’s history.
The mayor and police superintendent, Eddie Johnson, should be laser focused on the murder and mayhem and misery in the streets of Chicago, not a dismissed disorderly conduct case.
There were at least 539 homicides in Chicago in 2018, more than 80 percent of the killings unsolved. We hear almost nothing from the outraged pair about that shameful statistic.
Meanwhile, in the last decade and a half, the city has paid more than $660 million on police misconduct. In 2018 alone, according to the Chicago Reporter, the city shelled out more than $113 million on police misconduct lawsuits.
There are nine neighborhoods in the city where unemployment is about 20 percent and poverty hovers at the soul-numbing rate of 40 percent.
Again, crickets from on high.
It is time to move on to the important issues facing our beloved city – the monumental mayor’s election on Tuesday, April 2, the persistent violence, intractable poverty, unequal urban development among them. We cannot, and we will not, allow ourselves to lose focus of the big picture: a just, fair and safe Chicago and Cook County for everyone.
Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a multi-racial, multi-issue, progressive, international organization that was formed in December 1996 by the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. through merging of two organizations he founded Operation PUSH People United to Serve Humanity (estab. 1971) and the Rainbow Coalition (estab. 1984). With headquarters in Chicago and offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Oakland, the organization works to make the American Dream a reality for all citizens while advocating for peace and justice around the world. RPC is dedicated to improving the lives of all people by serving as a voice for the voiceless. Its mission is to protect, defend and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields while promoting peace and justice around the world.