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

ByJohn Garcia WLS logo
Monday, March 18, 2019
Police union accuses Kim Foxx of interfering in Jussie Smollett investigation
EMBED <>More Videos

A member of Jussie Smollett's family reached out to Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx for help with getting the feds to investigate allegations by the "Empire" actor.

CHICAGO -- The president of the Chicago police union has sent a letter to the Justice Department alleging that Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx interfered in the police investigation of "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett.

Foxx had recused herself from the case, but Kevin Graham, Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) president, said that was insufficient and wants the feds to determine whether she broke any laws.

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

RAW VIDEO: Jussie Smollett arrives at Chicago courthouse

"That recusal is wholly insufficient. In order for Ms. Foxx to properly charge and try this case, her entire office should have recused itself and a special prosecutor been appointed," Graham said in a statement.

Smollett, who faces 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report, claims he was the victim of a hate crime in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood in January. However, police say it was a hoax and that Smollett hired two brothers to carry out the fake attack.

CLICK HERE to read the full indictment

Initially, Chicago police considered Smollett a victim. That's when members of his family reached out to Foxx for help getting the Feds to investigate. She apparently tried to help.

When investigators determined Smollett was not the victim and allegedly lied about the attack, Foxx recused herself from the case. The FBI never took over the case.

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

"I think there are additional questions that need to be answered by Foxx and the police department. I don't think it's to the stage of being a federal investigation," said Laura Washington, an ABC7 political analyst.

The police union, which has been at odds with the state's attorney on a number of issues in the past, said she went too far in this case.

"The FOP has never been a friend... stick it to her and raise questions about her ability to be a good states attorney," Washington said.

Legal experts said there are some ethical questions about the way Foxx handled the case, but add that it's important to remember that when she first got involved Smollett was being investigated as a victim -- not a suspect.

"If her motivation is about the integrity of the investigation and ensuring that the investigation was properly conducted, I don't see an ethical issue there," said Sam Jones, of John Marshall Law School.

The Cook County State's Attorney's Office did not respond Monday to requests for comment.

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

A Chicago police spokesperson said the FBI was always involved but never took over the investigation because there was never evidence that Smollett had been the victim of a hate crime.

Police said they have evidence to prove that Smollett faked the attack because he wasn't satisfied with his salary on the "Empire" show, but attorneys for Smollett say there has been a lot of misinformation in this case and Smollett is innocent.

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

Smollett is represented by Los Angeles-based attorney Mark Geragos, as well as local Chicago attorney Ron Safer. Geragos specializes in white collar crime.

Smollett's attorney requested he be allowed to travel to meet with his attorneys in New York and California. The request was granted with the requirement that he notify the court of travel and be back for legal proceedings.

Smollett's next court date is set for April 17.


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

    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