Chicago FOP: Jussie Smollett case just one example of Kim Foxx’s troubling prosecutorial style
For Chicago police, Jussie Smollett and a known gang member, David Johnson, are exemplars of the failings, even dangers, of Cook County Prosecutor Kim Foxx’s catch and release approach to her job.
Smollett walked free in late March after the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office dropped charges of staging a hate crime, charges brought with compelling evidence compiled by police. The 26-year-old Johnson, a member of the Simon City Royals street gang, was in jail awaiting trial for weapons violations, but was bonded out just two weeks after his Feb. 19 arrest, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. He was shot on the northside on April 9 and taken to a hospital in critical condition. Police believe a rival gang member was the shooter.
Johnson’s bond was set at “$30,000-D meaning 10 percent needed to be paid ($3,000),” according to a Sheriff’s Office spokesperson.
“That’s far too low an amount,” Chicago FOP spokesman Martin Preib told Chicago City Wire. “He’s a violent criminal with a long list of felonies, and a known gang member who was picked up for a UUW [unlawful use of weapon] by felon. We were shocked when we found out he was back on the streets.”
Foxx’s office did not respond to a request for comment on the bond.
The Smollett story made national news. Johnson’s story never even got a mention; it doesn’t “fit the media narrative that the police are out of control,” Preib said.
“It’s the criminals who are out of control,” he added.
Yet police say the David Johnsons of Chicago are the ones posing a risk to the public, the police, and to themselves when they are released early from jail, or in some cases not charged at all. Preib says the practice is a lot more common than people realize, calling it “an open-door policy for criminals” under Foxx.
Yesterday the Chicago Tribune ran a “Breaking News” story that covered a talk show, “The Girl Talk: Kim Foxx Fights Back,” held April 23 at The Hideout in Chicago.
“While relatively little of the hourlong interview dealt directly with Smollett,” the story said in part, “the issue hung over much of the conversation, from Foxx’s relationship with Chicago police to her status as Cook County’s first black female state’s attorney.
“At mention of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police," the story continued," — the union representing rank-and-file Chicago police officers that has called for Foxx’s resignation over the Smollett decision — Foxx took another exaggerated sip of her drink, to the delight of the supportive audience.”
Just after the Smollett case blew up, the FOP, joined by suburban police chiefs, held a news conference demanding that Foxx resign. It was more than the Smollett case that set police off.
“She’s putting criminals back on the street either during the process, not charging them at all or allowing them on the street to commit again,” Steven Stelter of the West Suburban Chiefs of Police Association said at the April 4 new conference.
David Johnson, says Preib, is yet another example of that, and it's "happening every day."