Protestors gathered in front
of Attorney Kim Foxx's office on Monday with divided reactions to the
decision to drop all charges against the "Empire" actor
Yesterday at 5:46 PM
By Javonte Anderson
CHICAGO — Hundreds of opposing protesters
converged in front of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s downtown
office Monday, continuing the fierce and divisive reaction to
prosecutors’ decision to drop all charges against “Empire” actor Jussie
Members of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police rallied
outside the Cook County Administration Building, many wearing buttons
that read “Foxx must go.”
Their demonstration was met by smaller groups, including members of
the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, who staged
a counterprotest and carried signs that read “FOP is racist.” The Rev.
Jesse Jackson also lent his support.
Earlier reports that a statewide prosecutors’ group was co-sponsoring the FOP protest were incorrect, a spokesman said.
What began as two rallies centered on Foxx became a clash at times of diverging ideologies.
scene became chaotic when the groups merged, and counterprotesters —
initially positioned across the street from Foxx’s office — crossed to
where the FOP members were staged.
The dueling demonstrations
intensified but remained nonviolent as people from opposing sides
clashed verbally, shouting and cursing at one another. Dozens of police
officers were on hand to quell the conflicts and eventually used their
bicycles to create a barrier between the two groups.
At one point, a group of FOP-aligned protesters yelled: “Blue Lives Matter!”
To which counterprotesters responded: “Racists go home!”
few counterprotesters shouted “16 shots and a cover-up,” referring to
the number of times 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was shot by Officer
Jason Van Dyke in October 2014. A chorus of FOP protesters drowned them
out with chants of “Foxx must go!”
Mike MacDonald, 60, was among
those opposing Foxx. MacDonald, whose sign read “Justice for sale in
Crook County,” said he has been in law enforcement for 35 years and is
disappointed with how Foxx is running the office, especially how she
handled the Smollett case.
“I don’t think that justice was served at all,” he said.
police union President Kevin Graham said he was pleased with the
outpouring of support and that it’s critical to have “fair and just
prosecution” applied to everyone.
“It shouldn’t be that you have
influence, it should not be determined by how much money you have, or
the color of your skin, or your religion, or your sexual orientation.
“We certainly hope that (Foxx) knows that we’re serious and that we’re not happy.”
Some said they thought the FOP’s criticisms of Foxx were racially motivated.
is phony justice,” said Frank Chapman, co-chairman of the Chicago
Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. “Not one person from
the FOP or anyone of their ilk called a demonstration in defense of or
promoting justice for Laquan McDonald.”
McDonald’s shooting long
has been a focal point of activism and outrage in the African American
community. Van Dyke was sentenced last fall to 6 3/4 years in prison.
Activist and former mayoral hopeful Ja’Mal Green noted that some protesters were wearing red “Make America Great Again” hats.
does Trump and ‘Make America Great Again’ hats have to do with
anything?” Green asked. “We’re sitting here talking about how the
prosecutor should deal with cases.”
The rallies were yet another development in the saga of the Smollett case.
“Empire” actor, who is African American and openly gay, has said he was
walking from a Subway sandwich shop to his apartment on East North
Water Street around 2 a.m. Jan. 29 when two men wearing masks attacked
him, shouted racial and homophobic slurs and placed a noose around his
Chicago police initially launched a hate crime investigation
but eventually said their investigation showed Smollett, 36, staged the
Foxx said in February that she was recusing herself in
the case but has drawn criticism for never formally withdrawing from
Last week, prosecutors dropped all charges against
Smollett in exchange for community service and his forfeiture of the
$10,000 he had posted as bond. The decision, which Foxx has said she was
not involved in, drew swift and scathing criticism from police
Superintendent Eddie Johnson and from Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who called it a
“whitewash of justice.”
smollett should be charged with a hate for hating white people - to falsely accuse someone of a crime, or blame a crime on a specific race based on color is the essence of a hate crime, this is exactly what smollett did - just like the family in channelview that immediately blamed a white man for shooting their child, when in fact it was blacks - the only racism I experience is black against white, see it on the news every night, blacks are the most racist people that I encounter in daily activities - charge smollett with a federal hate crime, his actions reflect a hatred of whites and perpetuate racism, and prove that blacks are the real racist in America
Posted by buck at 4/3/2019 8:23:39 AM
I keep hearing/reading that charges were dropped and in exchange for community service and his forteiture of his bond. My question is, how can you have a conviction without charges?