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Let’s rapidly recap some of the mystery and chaos that surrounds last month’s decision by the office of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx to drop all charges in the Jussie Smollett case:
The Chicago Police Department arrested Smollett, a TV actor, alleging he staged a phony hate crime. Foxx recused herself because of contact she’d had with Smollett’s representatives. Nevertheless her office secured a 16-count indictment against Smollett, yet later abandoned the case without warning or good explanation. It turns out Foxx’s recusal was informal. And by the way, she asserted, the odds of conviction were uncertain — despite her top assistant’s boast that the case was solid. Foxx also said violent crime cases are more important to pursue.
Point - Foxx - Mismanagement - Smollett - Case
On that last point, Foxx is correct. But her mismanagement of the Smollett case — the shifting scenarios, the perception Smollett was gifted with a celebrity swag bag of dispensation — has opened a public rift with Chicago’s police union and set off a lot of back-and-forth jabbering, some of it ugly, among Foxx critics and defenders.
Meanwhile, Chicago’s horror — gun violence — has returned for another killing season. Last weekend’s warmer weather brought 2019’s first awful stretch of shootings and killings. From Friday afternoon to Sunday evening, 33 people were shot in Chicago, six of them fatally. In one incident Saturday, six people were shot outside a baby shower on the South Side, including an 8-year-old boy hit in the chest and a 10-year-old shot in the shin.
Connection - Smollett - Fiasco - Pursuit - Prosecution
The connection isn’t direct between the Smollett fiasco and the pursuit and prosecution of armed street cretins. But any resentment or breakdown in cooperation between CPD officers and county prosecutors is a distraction. We would hope there’s a laser focus on reducing crimes and prosecuting criminals by all involved in public safety. That’s certainly...
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