Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police sent a letter to the United States Attorney’s office late last week asking the federal government to consider charging dozens of looters and rioters who caused an estimated $60 million in damages to the city’s “Magnificent Mile” shopping district, amid concerns that the Cook County State’s Attorney, Kim Foxx, will not follow through on threats to prosecute.
Chicago’s CBS affiliate reports that Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara sent a personal request to U.S. Attorney John R. Lausch, Jr., asking Lausch to consider levying federal charges against those who participated in the unrest.
Catanzara noted that officers felt unprotected during the unrest and that several were injured trying to keep looters and rioters from stealing thousands in luxury merchandise from the city’s high-end shopping district.
“Our members were subject to threats both verbally and physically, were battered with all types of bricks and rocks, and stood the line to help protect the citizens and their property,” he wrote. “Our offices did this with the understanding that the looters and criminals would be prosecuted and held to account for their actions. It appears that this is not going to happen.”
At least one alleged looter was arrested outside the city’s Burberry boutique after using a brick to repel officers who saw him smash through the store’s window and grab for merchandise from the front display. Other officers reportedly found themselves overwhelmed by the sheer number of looters and rioters, many of whom drove into the city to take advantage of the unrest, police officials say, after seeing a post on Facebook.
Catanzara also echoed concerns from the city’s police superintendent David Brown who, as The Daily Wire reported last week, told reporters in a press conference that he felt the looters were emboldened by the decision of the office of the State’s Attorney not to prosecute those who committed similar crimes back during the first wave of rioting in May.
“Criminals took to the streets with the confidence that there would be no consequences for their actions,” Brown said. “Let me say that again: Criminals took to the streets with the confidence that there would be no consequences for their actions.”
Indeed, the Chicago Tribune reported last week that Foxx has not only been lenient on protesters, but on thousands of other felons, including sexual predators, gun offenders, and even an alleged murderer, who saw their cases dropped by Foxx’s office.
Foxx claims that many of those arrested in May have yet to have their day in court; a number of hearings are scheduled for August.
Foxx, Catanzara says, is unlikely to follow through on threats to prosecute those arrested in this round of unrest, which is why the Fraternal Order of Police wants federal officials involved. Foxx, “very plainly and without explanation has decreed that her office has instituted a ‘presumption of dismissal’ for a host of charges. She makes this proclamation under some arbitrary theory that the offenders were protestors and somehow had the right to commit crimes due [to] the unfortunate death of George Floyd in Minnesota.”
It is “time for the State’s Attorney of Cook County to do her job, or if she refuses, the United States Attorney’s Office to step in,” Catanzara concludes.