Kim Foxx links Cook County's explosion of violence to COVID-19 in address

For the first time since 2019, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx delivered a formal report on her office.

"This isn't a PR stunt. It is what is owed to the people of Cook County," Foxx said.

Foxx declined to comment Friday on a special prosecutor's finding that she badly mishandled the Jussie Smollett case and misled the public about it.


The embattled state's attorney, who won a second term while taking credit for a decline in shootings and killings during her first term, suggested she should not be held to account for the explosion of violence during her second term, pointing to many other cities across the U.S.

Kim Foxx and Jussie Smollett (Smollett picture from Getty)

"We don't often talk enough about the link between COVID-19 and violence. And what we know is that this will be something that will be studied, and should be studied for years," Foxx said.

"Because the reality is here in Chicago and in Cook County, violent crime saw a sharp rise since the onset of COVID-19. And it is important as we address what's happening here in Cook County, that we also take stock of where we are as a country."

The state's attorney said that, contrary to what her critics say, she approves charges in most -- 86% -- of the felony cases brought to her by Chicago and suburban police. She said she wins convictions in 75% of prosecutions.

In a claim sure to anger some of her critics, Foxx argues too many people are locked behind bars.

"If incarceration alone worked in keeping our communities safe, we'd be one of the safest nations in the country," Foxx said. "The reality is, the United States only represents 5% of the world's population. And yet 25% of those incarcerated throughout the world are here in the United States."

Foxx said she would have more to say about Smollett's case after he is sentenced by a judge later this month.