CHICAGO - The looting and civil unrest in downtown Chicago is putting Mayor Lori Lightfoot at odds with Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx.
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown also suggested that because so few defendants were hit with serious charges during the looting in late May and early June, and so many of them were back on the street almost immediately, it amounted to encouraging more of the same.
Foxx, however, took offense. The state's attorney claims the relatively small number of looters who faced any charges after the destruction in late May and early June is a police problem and that it has not encouraged more looting.
“The notion that people believe they are somehow empowered because people weren't prosecuted for looting back in the wake of the unrest beginning is simply not true. Those cases are coming to court now,” Foxx said.
The state's attorney points to about 300 defendants charged with a felony back in early June. She said none have been tried yet. Many, if not most, were quickly granted pre-trial release.
In June, FOX 32 News recorded looting continuing days after the initial outburst of violence, with police and security personnel generally doing little to stop it -- admittedly after stores like the Walmart on 87th Street had been repeatedly ransacked. The state's attorney says that's not her job.
“And what we have said to CPD and our other partners is, ‘bring us cases where people are committing those acts and we will pursue them,’” Foxx said.
Patrick O’Brien, who is the Republican candidate challenging Foxx this November, weighed in on the situation.
“How surprising is it when you encourage crime and don't have any consequences for it that it continues to happen?” he said Monday.
A spokeswoman for Foxx said assistant state's attorneys were working with Chicago police to review what the mayor called "great video" from Monday’s looting to identify and arrest those involved.