COOK COUNTY - The Village of Orland Park unanimously approved a resolution expressing a vote of no confidence in Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, calling on Foxx to resign at the March 7 village board meeting.
The village board said the resolution honors the rights of victims, affirms a vote of no confidence in Foxx and calls for her resignation, saying it's "for the sake of restoration of the public’s confidence in the criminal justice system." The resolution also calls on other elected bodies to do the same.
"This is not simply a matter of opinion," said Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau. "It is a matter of life and death. Every day, as a direct result of the State’s Attorney’s actions and policies, criminals who should be incarcerated are set free and are committing crimes that could have been prevented."
According to the village, the resolution cites public safety risks due to unprecedented homicidal activities, escalating crime including unsolved murders, frequent shootings resulting in the death of children, and a justice system that "prioritizes criminals over the safety of law-abiding citizens."
The board says this resolution draws attention to the tens of thousands of people in Cook County who are victims of crime every year, some who endure horrific acts of violence, some have personal possessions damaged or stolen, and others are defrauded or exploited financially.
"The Orland Park Police Department is doing an outstanding job by cracking down on those who choose to bring violence and criminal activity to Orland Park," Pekau said. "We do all that we can to make sure our streets, neighborhood and businesses are safe, because that is our main responsibility to the public. Then once the suspects are brought before a Cook County judge, they can walk away without as much as a wrist slap and be back on the streets. This is a broken system. These are sometimes thrice convicted felons with ankle monitors and multiple victims that are allowed to continue on their criminal paths without reprimand or justice playing a role. We can’t sit idly by and watch this happen, time and time again."
Cook County saw more gun-related homicides in 2021 than in any other year on record. Cook County's 1,002 gun-related homicides were 121 higher than the previous record from 2020 and almost twice as many as the total from 2019.
"Many victims lose something that can never be fully recovered: a sense of trust and safety," said Pekau. "Many of these victims are twice victimized: once by a criminal and once by a criminal justice system that increasingly prioritizes criminals over the safety of law-abiding citizens."
The Illinois criminal code compiles Illinois’ criminal law, including penalties that may be imposed for criminal offenses, including weapons violations.
According to the village, of the 103 Orland Park Police Department firearm arrests from Jan. 1, 2019, through Dec. 31, 2021, only one was held with no bond, 36 or 35% were released on IBonds (on their own personal recognizance), and the remainder were released on low bond amounts.
"As leaders charged with ensuring public safety in our communities, we cannot ignore the choices Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx has made and the impact it is having on our ability to reduce and deter criminal activities," said Pekau. "Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s strategy to address crime is to decriminalize or ignore it, regardless of any collateral cost which is born overwhelmingly by individual communities."