Today, Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx released an official policy outlining the Office’s decision not to prosecute individuals charged with minor offenses related to peaceful protests.
In recent weeks, individuals gathered calling for criminal justice reform, police accountability, and systemic change. While protesting, law enforcement agencies in Chicago and suburban Cook County arrested individuals and charged them with various non-violent offenses, including Unlawful Gathering, Criminal Trespass to State Supported Land, Disorderly Conduct, Public Demonstration, and Curfew Violations.
Under the Cook County State’s Attorney Office’s (CCSAO) new policy, prosecutors will review these incidents on a case-by-case basis to determine if there is reason to proceed in the interest of public safety.
“Over the past month we have seen righteous anger, collective grief, action, and demands for justice,” said Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. “I’m encouraged by the efforts of those who are standing against years of racial injustice to resoundingly state that ‘Black Lives Matter’. We have the right to peacefully protest for change, but those choosing to exploit this moment, by causing harm and damage, will be held accountable.”
This policy continues the proactive work of the CCSAO to balance public safety and public health, while focusing the office’s limited resources on addressing violent crime in our communities.