A Chicago congressman attacked the city’s police union Saturday, calling the Fraternal Order of Police “the sworn enemy of black people.”
Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush spoke at a media event called by embattled prosecutor Kim Foxx, whose office has been attacked for dropping all charges against actor Jussie Smollett in connection with the January incident in which Smollett claimed he was attacked on a Chicago street.
Chicago police have said the attack was a hoax, and erupted in anger last week when the charges against Smollett were dropped.
“The FOP is the sworn enemy of black people, the sworn enemy of black people,” Rush said Saturday, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“The FOP has always taken the position that black people can be shot down in the street by members of the Chicago Police Department, and suffer no consequences.”
Rush, who has been in office since 1993, said attacks against Foxx are based on race.
“Let’s be clear: Kim Foxx, her battle, is with the FOP and all of their cohorts,” he said.
U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush defends Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx against attacks from the Chicago police union over Foxx’s handling of the Jussie Smollett case: “The FOP is a sworn enemy of black people.” pic.twitter.com/gv0uox6Q88
— Nader Issa (@NaderDIssa) April 6, 2019
During the event, one speaker likened the Chicago FOP to the “blue klux klan.”
Kim Foxx is expected to address media any moment at Jessie Jackson’s rainbow push. Many speakers calling the FOP racist, including fomer mayoral canidate Jamal Greene who called it the “blue klux clan.” #JussieSmollett
— Matt Finn (@MattFinnFNC) April 6, 2019
Don’t twist my words. I said FOP looked like a “Blue Klux Klan” at their press conference not CPD. Thanks, i will be ready for that supposed “confrontation” https://t.co/5EYPtspztK
— Ja’Mal Green (@JaymalGreen) April 6, 2019
The police union has demanded that Foxx resign over her handling of the Smollett case. Led by police union members, protesters marched outside of Foxx’s office last week.
Foxx on Saturday claimed that white nationalists were also at the event.
“The injection of white nationalists in this conversation for me, I will tell you personally, I was afraid,” Foxx said on Saturday, according to the Tribune.
“I would certainly hope that the FOP and whatever their disagreements may be, whatever concerns that they may have about my ability or leadership, would at least expect the people of their union to not inject racism or white nationalists into the conversation,” she said.
“I have been asking myself for the last two weeks what is this really about,” Foxx said, according to The Associated Press. “As someone who has lived in this city, who came up in the projects of this city to serve as the first African American woman in this role, it is disheartening to me … that when we get in these positions somehow the goalposts change.”
A union statement to the Tribune called Foxx’s comments “ignorant, offensive, malicious and false.”
“These outrageous and irresponsible comments have demeaned each and every Chicago Police Officer, regardless of their race,” the statement said.
Chicago Police Union President Kevin Graham said Friday that the Smollett case is not the only time Foxx has shown her disregard for the police, Fox News reported.
“We have had problems getting felony charges approved for battery to police officers. I’ve had officers, in my office, where their kneecaps were broken, where their fingertips were nearly bit off, and we can’t get felony charges approved on this,” he said in an appearance on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.”
“We’re saying: This is enough. So we asked for her to step down. The FOP in Chicago took a vote of no confidence and so did the police chiefs around Cook County,” he said.
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