Jussie Smollett case leads to protests for, against Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx

ByDiane Pathieu, Leah Hope, Eric Horng via WLS logo
Tuesday, April 2, 2019
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Two groups who have opposing views about the prosecutor's office decision to drop charges against actor Jussie Smollett held dueling rallies in Chicago.

CHICAGO -- Two passionate groups gathered outside the county building Monday morning, opposed in their response to the dismissal of 16 felony charges against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett.

One group wants Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx out of a job, based on how her office handled the Smollett case. The other supports her.

Rev. Jesse Jackson, Father Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Church and local activists rallied for Foxx earlier Monday at the Chicago Temple.

Chris Rock rips an absent Jussie Smollett at the NAACP Image Awards

Jackson said he stands by Foxx and her decision to dismiss the charges, calling the attacks against Foxx "unreasonable, unjustified and politically motivated." Jackson said Foxx did the legal and right thing in recusing herself from the case.

WATCH: Kim Foxx writes Chicago Tribune op-ed

Jackson calls the outrage over Smollett misplaced and out of proportion, and claimed first-time offenders in Cook County often have their class 4 felony cases dismissed.

"The attack on Kim Foxx is not about Jussie. Rather, it's an excuse to try to remove a strong black woman who comes in the office of state's attorney to reform it," Pfleger said.

The group supporting Kim Foxx called for an apology from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel over the Laquan McDonald killing, saying he should have had as much passion about that case as he does over the Smollett case. McDonald was a 17-year-old black teen who was shot 16 times by Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke in 2014.

WATCH: Emanuel speaks on what he believes Smollett owes Chicago

The rally led by Jackson, and another held by groups including Black Lives Matter outside the Cook County Office Building, were organized in reaction to one planned by the Fraternal Order of Police.

Representatives of Chicago's police union said Monday that Foxx must go, and that dropping the charges was wrong. They said they believe the actor staged a hoax and owes the city money for the high-profile investigation.

"We extended a lot of manpower and we've done a lot of work to make sure that this case was brought to trial, and it wasn't. These police officers, I believe it cost us $130,000 in overtime? That's a lot of money to just throw away," said Kevin Graham, FOP president.

RELATED: I-TEAM: What's inside CPD's Jussie Smollett investigative file?

Smollett's attorney Mark Geragos said it was prosecutors who proposed a deal to drop the charges and do away with the case against Smollett.

"So all I know is, they approached us about dismissing it, and not the other way around," Geragos said.

WATCH: Kim Foxx defends office's decision in Jussie Smollett case

Foxx stands by the decision to drop the 16 count indictment against the "Empire" actor saying she was not certain she could get a conviction.

She recused herself from the case early in the investigation. The dismissal of charges against Smollett has divided the prosecutor's office and city officials.

Emanuel has publicly stated that he believes the actor staged a hoax and owes the city money for the high-profile investigation.

Monday morning, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson talked bout the handling of the Smollett case.

"Our job is to present them with the evidence. Their job is to prosecute it the way they deem appropriate. We don't always agree, but that's the judicial system that we have and I honor that," Johnson said.

Johnson said he and Foxx talk all the time.

"Our relationship is kind of like a marriage," he said. "We have the same goal, but we don't always agree."

Previous coverage:

Chris Rock rips an absent Jussie Smollett at the NAACP Image Awards

Jussie Smollett update: What's inside the CPD investigative file?

Jussie Smollett update: FBI reviewing circumstances of Jussie Smollett's charges being dropped, sources confirm

Jussie Smollett update: Charges against 'Empire' actor dropped; 'not an exoneration,' prosecutor says

RELATED: Mayor Emanuel calls decision to drop charges against Smollett 'whitewash of justice'

RELATED: Charges dropped against 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett

RELATED: Osundairo brother at center of Jussie Smollett case compete in Chicago boxing match

RELATED: Jussie Smollett update: 'Pain and anger' around 'Empire' in recent weeks, Lee Daniels says

RELATED: FOP accuses Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx of interfering in Jussie Smollett investigation

RELATED: Jussie Smollett pleads not guilty to disorderly conduct charges

RELATED: Jussie Smollett update: Texts shed light on why State's Attorney Kim Foxx recused herself

RELATED: Jussie Smollett appears in court for hearing; Cameras allowed for Thursday hearing

RELATED: Jussie Smollett update: Brothers 'taken advantage of' by Smollett, attorney says

RELATED: Jussie Smollett indicted on 16 felony counts by grand jury

RELATED: Brothers reportedly involved in Jussie Smollett alleged hoax release statement expressing 'regret'

RELATED: Jussie Smollett's check to brothers obtained by ABC News

RELATED: Jussie Smollett's character to be removed from 'Empire', producers say

RELATED: What's next for Jussie Smollett? Possible big police bill

RELATED: Jussie Smollett alleged hoax may cast doubt on real hate crimes, advocates fear

RELATED: Jussie Smollett out on bond after being accused of staging attack

RELATED: Jussie Smollett charged with disorderly conduct for filing false police report, prosecutors say

RELATED: Cook Co. State's Attorney Kim Foxx recuses herself from Jussie Smollett investigation

RELATED: Brothers told police Smollett was upset threatening letter didn't get enough attention, staged attack

RELATED: Activist calls for Smollett's arrest, believes actor lied about attack

RELATED: Brothers tell police that Jussie Smollett paid them to stage attack, official says

RELATED: Sources: Police investigating whether Smollett staged attack with help of others

RELATED: Timeline of key moments in alleged attack on Jussie Smollett

RELATED: Jussie Smollett breaks silence on Chicago attack

RELATED: 'Empire' actor's family releases statement on attack, pictures of possible persons of interest released

RELATED: Photos show potential persons of interest in 'Empire' actor attack, police say

RELATED: 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett attacked in Chicago in possible hate crime, police say

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Chris Rock rips an absent Jussie Smollett at the NAACP Image Awards

    Jussie Smollett update: Thousands referred for alternative prosecution by Cook County prosecutors haven't completed process

      Jussie Smollett update: City of Chicago asks Jussie Smollett to pay for $130,000 cost of investigation

        Jussie Smollett update: FBI reviewing circumstances of Jussie Smollett's charges being dropped, sources confirm

          Jussie Smollett update: What's inside the CPD investigative file?

            Mayor Emanuel on Jussie Smollett charges being dropped: 'This is a whitewash of justice'

              Jussie Smollett update: Charges against 'Empire' actor dropped; 'not an exoneration,' prosecutor says

                FOP accuses Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx of interfering in Jussie Smollett investigation

                  Jussie Smollett update: 'Pain and anger' around 'Empire' in recent weeks, Lee Daniels says

                    Jussie Smollett pleads not guilty to disorderly conduct charges in arraignment Thursday

                      Osundairo brother at center of Jussie Smollett case competes in Chicago boxing match

                        Jussie Smollett update: Texts shed light on why State's Attorney Kim Foxx recused herself

                          Jussie Smollett appears in court for hearing; Cameras allowed for Thursday hearing

                            Jussie Smollett update: Brothers 'taken advantage of' by Smollett, attorney says

                              Jussie Smollett update: 'Empire' actor indicted on 16 felony counts by grand jury

                                Jussie Smollett attack: Brothers reportedly involved in alleged hoax release statement expressing 'regret'

                                  Jussie Smollett's check to brothers written before 'Empire' actor accused of staging attack obtained by ABC News

                                    Jussie Smollett's character to be removed from 'Empire', producers say; actor charged with felony out on bond

                                      What's next for Jussie Smollett? Possible big police bill

                                        Jussie Smollett alleged hoax may cast doubt on real hate crimes, advocates fear

                                          Smollett charged: 'Empire' actor out on bond, staged attack due to salary dissatisfaction: police

                                            Jussie Smollett attack: Smollett charged with disorderly conduct for filing false police report, prosecutors say

                                              Jussie Smollett attack: Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx recuses herself from investigation

                                                Jussie Smollett attack: Brothers tell police that actor staged attack after threatening letter did not get enough attention

                                                  Civil rights activist calls for arrest of Jussie Smollett, believes he lied about alleged attack

                                                    Jussie Smollett attack: Brothers tell police that Jussie Smollett paid them to stage attack, official says; new evidence 'shifted the trajectory' of investigation after brothers cooperate, police say

                                                      Sources: Police investigating whether Jussie Smollett staged attack with help of others, allegedly being written off 'Empire'

                                                        Jussie Smollett breaks silence; 'Empire' actor addresses Chicago attack for 1st time

                                                          Jussie Smollett attack: Family releases statement, pictures of possible persons of interest released

                                                            Smollett attack: Surveillance video shows potential persons of interest, Chicago police say

                                                              'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett attacked in Chicago in possible hate crime, police say