CHICAGO (October 5, 2021) — Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx called statements made by Mayor Lori Lightfoot about the handling of a deadly shooting case “inappropriate” and “wrong.”
Foxx said that as a prosecutor, she does not try cases in the media.
“That’s because as prosecutors, we recognize that our words as they go out can be used whether be defense counsels or jurors in making a determination in the believability of our evidence,” Foxx said.
The announcement comes amid criticism of Foxx’s office for after the decision by prosecutors to reject charges in a deadly gang-related shooting in the Austin neighborhood last week.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot spoke Monday and called on Foxx to reverse her office’s decision on the case. But in this case– Mayor Lightfoot is correct. The evidence against the criminals are insurmountable in this case, and Foxx has ignored the fact that indicting the criminals will help keep violence off the streets of Chicago and people alive.
“If they do not feel like the criminal justice system is going to hold them accountable, we’re going to see a level of brazenness that will send the city into chaos and we cannot let that happen,” the mayor said Monday.
Foxx said there was not enough evidence to support felony charges, and police said the people arrested refused to tell them anything. But Lightfoot, herself a former prosecutor, believes there’s evidence to make a case.
“I think that there’s evidence there. We’ve got videotape, we have a marked squad of uniformed officers who were on the scene observing it,” she said. “At a bare minimum, the individuals who initiated the firefight must be prosecuted.”
Speaking on Tuesday, Foxx defended the decision by her office after the mayor’s comments and said some of her statements were not correct.
“It was inappropriate,” Foxx said. “It was wrong. As a prosecutor who understands the oath and as a former prosecutor discussing the facts of this case does in the press without the benefit of all of the evidence does a disservice to the communities who have been impacted by this violence. Our job is not simply to make an arrest but also to get a conviction. In an effort to get a conviction, we must make sure that the evidence is held in the highest integrity.”
During a budget meeting with aldermen Monday, police acknowledged that, despite being caught on a city POD camera, the shooting was between what are being called “mutual combatants” and that it’s hard to discern who fired first and who might have been acting in self-defense, but, agree with the mayor who says that charges of some sort should have been filed against all involved.
At her press conferenec Tuesday, Foxx called for a meeting between herself, the mayor and police officials at Area Five, whom she accused of mishandling high profile investigations in recent weeks, and then leaking information that would make her office look bad.
Last week, Cook County prosecutors came under fire after making a similar argument after a teenager was stabbed to death during a fight in suburban Schaumburg. The family of the victim, 18-year-old Manuel Porties Jr., later told WGN that prosecutors specifically said they weren’t charging the 17-year-old suspect with murder because the fatal fight amounted to mutual combat.
Source: WLS/ ABC7 Chicago