Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) said he believes the Chicago police union is the new "sworn enemy of black people" following protests of Jussie Smollett's charge dismissals
What's a brief history?
According to the Chicago Tribune, Rush blasted Chicago's Fraternal Order of Police amid the Smollett controversy. Prosecutor Kim Foxx and her State's Attorney office dismissed all charges against the "Empire" actor who was accused of faking his own hate crime in January.
Chicago police arrested Smollett in February, accusing him of staging a racist, homophobic attack against himself to further his career. Smollett insisted that two masked men beat him and screamed "MAGA country" during the wee hours of the morning, in sub-freezing Chicago temperatures.
After an investigation, authorities charged Smollett with 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report in regard to the incident. He pleaded not guilty.
In March, the Cook County State's Attorney's office dropped the charges, and announced that Smollett's record would be wiped clean.
In a statement, the Cook County State's Attorney's office said, "After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollett's volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his bond to the City of Chicago, we believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case."
Hundreds of protesters gathered outside of Foxx's office last week and demanded her resignation for mishandling the case. USA Today reported that the city saw dueling protests — between Chicago's police union and a coalition of civil rights activists.
What is Rush saying?
Rush pointed his finger at the city's police union during a Saturday news conference for the dueling protests.
"The FOP is the sworn enemy of black people, the sworn enemy of black people," he said. "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."
He added, "Let's be clear: Kim Foxx, her battle, is with the FOP and all of their cohorts."
For her part, Foxx said she felt personally threatened by the protests.
"The injection of white nationalists in this conversation for me, I will tell you personally, I was afraid," Foxx said.
"I would certainly hope that the FOP and whatever their disagreements with me 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 added.
Chicago's Fraternal Order of Police responded to Rush's remarks in a lengthy statement shared on Facebook.
The statement said:
The FOP calls on the Chicago's media and elected officials, particularly Mayor Elect Lori Lightfoot, to defend Chicago Police officers against the ignorant, offensive, malicious, and false statements made by Bobby Rush today about Chicago Police Officers being the enemy of black people.
The police did not compel Jussie Smollett to report a hate crime. Nevertheless, they investigated his claims aggressively as if Smollett were the victim. It was the evidence that transformed Smollett from victim into offender, not race. It was Kimberly Foxx's decision to defy the evidence, the investigation, the law, and procedure to drop charges against Mr. Smollett, an act that earned her condemnation from prosecutors throughout the state.
These outrageous and irresponsible comments have demeaned each and every Chicago Police Officer, regardless of their race.
It's time the media spent some energy illuminating the long history of violent crime committed by Bobby Rush's Black Panthers throughout the 1970s, including the murder of black and white police officers. The national media has reported the connections of the Smollett family to the Black Panther movement, including Angela Davis, but not the local press.
According to media reports, Angela Davis is a revolutionary who called for violence against police officers. She is accused of providing weapons to Black Panthers that were used to kill a judge in a botched attempt to free her husband from prison and has claimed that all criminals who are minorities should be freed from prison because they are political prisoners.
How can Bobby Rush claim to represent African Americans when he so falsely attacks the people who strive to protect their communities and enforce the law each and every day?
The FOP stands by what the Lodge and so many police chiefs throughout Cook County have already said: Foxx should immediately resign her position as prosecutor.