“The fact that he’s got a criminal case pending, that’s the reason they shouldn’t be having contact, okay?
The emergence of a selfie photo showing Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx posing with a community activist charged with assaulting law enforcement last year is sparking an outcry from Chicago police officers.
Foxx is actively involved in the prosecution of the man, Jedidiah Brown, who she is seen posing with in a Facebook photo. A group of Chicago officers want Foxx removed from the case and are taking the embattled prosecutor to court, CBS 2 reported Tuesday.
Brown was charged last year with two counts of misdemeanor battery, resisting arrest and obstructing traffic after an altercation with officers during a July 2018 protest.
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James McKay, the officers’ attorney, told CBS 2 that Foxx should recuse herself from Brown’s case, which her office is handling.
“When you’re taking pictures with the prosecutor while you have a case pending, that appearance is of impropriety calls out for removal of that prosecutor,” he said. “If a prosecutor has a relationship – whether it’s a working relationship, a political relationship, a personal relationship – he or she should remove themselves from that case so it appears to be fair and impartial for both sides.”
McKay also took issue with Brown’s appearance at an event earlier in April during which Foxx defended her controversial decision to drop all charges against actor Jussie Smollett, who has been accused of staging a hate crime against himself.
Video footage shows Brown standing right behind Foxx while she speaks.
“The fact that he’s got a criminal case pending, that’s the reason they shouldn’t be having contact, okay? Period,” McKay said.
According to McKay, Foxx’s office declined to charge Brown with a felony for aggravated battery of a police officer, instead opting to go after him for a less serious misdemeanor offense. McKay has filed a motion requesting a special prosecutor to take over Brown’s case.
Brown is resistant to the idea.
“Me and the state’s attorney have no conversation, personal or business,” Brown told CBS 2. “I supported her, just as many people in the county did, when she ran for state’s attorney.”
Brown said that he takes “pictures with politicians, celebrities, businessmen all the time.”
Foxx has been under fire since her office announced in late March that they would be dismissing all 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for lying to Chicago police against “Empire” star Smollett.
That decision sparked backlash and intense public scrutiny into Foxx’s conduct as state’s attorney.
Last week, text messages surfaced revealing Foxx meddled in the Jussie Smollett case weeks after she claimed to have recused herself.
In the texts, Foxx pushed the lead prosecutor in the case to go easy on Smollett, saying he was just a “washed up celeb who lied to police.” Just over two weeks later, her office dropped all charges against the actor.
Foxx recused herself from the Smollett case on Feb. 19 because she had conversations with one of his family members when he was still being considered a victim of a crime, though she later claimed she “did not formally recuse herself.”
In a March 29 op-ed for The Chicago Tribune, Foxx defended her handling of the Smollett case as in the interest of public safety.
“I promised to spend my office’s finite resources on the most serious crimes in order to create communities that are both safer and fairer,” she wrote.
Foxx also said she would “welcome an outside, nonpolitical review of how we handled this matter.”
Cook County’s Inspector General Patrick Blanchard last week launched a probe into how Foxx’s office handled the case.
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