Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Police union to seek special prosecutor when county won't prosecute anti-cop crimes

Kim Foxx | Cook County State's Attorney's Office
The labor union that represents Chicago’s beat cops is striking back at what it believes is a failure of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx to prosecute crimes committed against officers in the line of duty.

Leaders of FOP Lodge #7 told Foxx in a letter this week that the union will file a motion for a special prosecutor “in each and every case where you refuse, drop, or diminish charges when our members are the victims.”

Among the State’s Attorney’s decisions that the union said demonstrate “a disregard for the safety of police officers or an apparent hostility toward them” was a dismissal of charges against an HIV-positive individual who bit a cop at a demonstration; a reduction in charges from felony to misdemeanor for a driver who “recklessly crossed multiple lanes of traffic” to strike and kill an off-duty officer; and a failure to approve felony charges against a man who allegedly issued death threats against police officers, police families, and public officials during the trial of Jason Van Dyke, the former Chicago cop who was  convicted of murdering Laquan McDonald.

“The failure to prosecute these cases places our members in greater danger because it sends a message to the community that you can resist arrest and fight with police officers,” union leaders Kevin Graham, Pat Murray, Martin Preib, and Bob Bartlett said in the letter.

The union cites a state law that allows judges to appoint an attorney to prosecute charges if the court find that the State’s Attorney “is sick, absent, or unable to fulfill his or her duties.”

Federal authorities will be asked to intervene where the union believes Foxx has failed to prosecute persons accused of attacking or threatening police officers, the letter said.

The letter also served as a Freedom of Information Act request for “the names of all Chicago Police officers who have been identified as victims of a crime and have had their case presented to your felony review unit” so the union “can give the reviewing court an understanding of the breadth of this problem.”

In addition to accusing Foxx of failing to prosecute crimes against cops, the union also argued that Foxx “has failed time and time again to resist the claims of the wrongful conviction attorney’s bar.” Foxx’s top aide “almost enjoyed dismissing all charges against Gabriel Solache and Arturo Reyes…for the 1998 stabbing death of a young couple and then kidnapping their children.”

The Sun-Times reported that First Assistant State’s Attorney Eric Sussman said, “there is no doubt in my mind, or the mind of anyone who has worked on this case, that Mr. Solache and Mr. Reyes are guilty of these crimes.” Nonetheless, Foxx’s office dropped the charges in the “gruesome double-murder” because it believed the original prosecution was based on a false confession.
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