Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx speaking at a press conference in Chicago on February 22.
After an intense public backlash, Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx said Friday that she is open for an external investigation in to her office dramatic decision to dismiss all charges against the “Empire” actor Jussi Smollett.
In an op-ed for The Chicago Tribune, Foxx admitted that a third-party review in the high-profile case would help maintain transparency.
The surprise decision to drop charges on Tuesday, followed by Smollett, the claims of innocence and exemption, accompanied by an immediate reprimand from the Chicago mayor and police inspector that it was a “whitewash of justice,” the pressure on the state attorney’s office for the defense of the actions.
“I’m not perfect, nor is any other officer of justice, but to ensure that I and my office have made our community the trust is of the utmost importance,” Foxx, who ran on a platform of transparency, he wrote.
TRUMP SAYS MINISTRY OF JUSTICE, THE FBI TO REVIEW THE SCANDALOUS DECISION TO DROP CHARGES IN JUSSI SMOLLETT CASE
Smollett is accused of staging an anti-gay, racist attack on himself in January to promote his career. He has denied the charges from the start and says that two men came to him, beat him, threw bleach on him and tied a rope around his neck before screaming, “This is a BIG country,” in reference to President Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America great Again.”
To investigate the hate crime, the city removed 24 detectives from their regular cases, up to 1000 hours in the search for the truth.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to Smollett to reimburse the city $130,106.15 to cover the cost of overtime hours spent on the research.
“In determining whether or not to pursue charges, prosecutors are obliged to balance the seriousness of the crime against the likelihood of securing a conviction,” Foxx wrote. “For a variety of reasons … my office believed that the probability of securing a conviction was not certain.”
Foxx said Smollett the “alleged unstable actions have probably caused him more harm than an order of the court, the fine can.” But she added that prisons should be reserved for perpetrators of violent crimes.
Her defense is not swaying many people.
CHICAGO ATTORNEY KIM FOXX DID BY NATIONAL LAWYERS OF THE GROUP AFTER CHARGES DROPPED
“Foxx could have distanced themselves from this blunder due to the fact that her own blunder — mailing and texting with people that are close to Smollett early in the investigation had asked her to step away from the case and leave it to subordinates,” Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn wrote. “But they picked up the property of the Wednesday, giving interviews in which they expressed pride and confidence in the way her office had handled the case.”
Zorn, like so many others in Chicago, believe Foxx was “probably and perhaps should lose her job next year about her office in the processing of the Jussi Smollett case.”
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Foxx’s actions also prompted both the National District Attorneys Association and the Illinois Prosecutors bar Association to severe criticism at her office.
President Trump even waded in the controversy, said he had asked federal law enforcement officials to look at Smollett’s the case.
“I think that the case in Chicago is an absolute disgrace for our country, and I have asked them to look at,” Trump said.