Jussie Smollett Prosecutor Is Now Letting Off Hundreds of Protestors

The state attorney whose office dropped charges against Jussie Smollett in his high-profile hate crime hoax case announced on Tuesday she would do the same for hundreds of Chicago-area protesters.

Kim Foxx told local news outlets her Cook County office will begin next week dropping misdemeanor charges against as many as 817 defendants arrested during sometimes-violent protests against police and racism.
  • Prosecutors will be instructed to review disorderly conduct, public demonstration and unlawful gathering charges with "presumption of dismissal,” she said.
  • Resisting arrest, mob action and aggravated battery to a police officer, she said, will be dismissed in the absence of incriminating body cam or dash cam footage.
Foxx, a Democrat, said her leniency was motivated by a lack of resources and cited a 10-percent budget cut to her office announced earlier in the day.
  • She used the same justification for her controversial policy of not bringing felony charges against shoplifters caught with less than $1,000 worth of stolen goods.
“The question it comes down to is, is it a good use of our time and resources?” she said to the Chicago Sun-Times. “No, it’s not.”

Last March, Foxx dropped felony disorderly conduct charges against Smollett, a black and openly gay actor, over his alleged faking of a bigoted attack against himself.
  • The move drew widespread condemnation, including from Chicago officials and police.
  • Smollett was again indicted for allegedly lying to police in February 2020 as part of an investigation of Foxx's alleged mishandling of the case. 
  • The actor has maintained his innocence.
Foxx, while admitting she did not handle the Smollett prosecution well, has decried the new charges and defended her record as a progressive prosecutor.

She has often sought to portray herself as an answer to President Donald Trump. 
  • When protests against police erupted in late May, Foxx called Trump’s threat to crackdown on rioters “hateful and racist rhetoric.”
  • In a June 10 op-ed for the Sun-Times, she voiced support for the protests and said racism in America is “intentional and structural.”
  • Foxx later announced she was ending her office’s tradition of cutting prosecutors’ necktimes after they won their first case, saying it might be based on racism and lynching.
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