Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police sent a letter to the United States Attorney’s office late last week, urging the federal government to charge dozens of looters who wrecked the city’s “Magnificent Mile” shopping district and caused an estimated $60 million in damages.
Chicago’s CBS affiliate reported that the union president John Catanzara personally requested US Attorney John R. Lausch, Jr. to consider levying federal charges against those who participated in the riot.
"Your office has the power and expertise to prosecute these cases and we beseech you to step in and stand for law and order as Chicago Police Officers do each and every day," he wrote.
Catanzara noted that officers felt unprotected during the unrest and that several were injured protecting thousands of luxury merchandise in the high-end shopping district from theft.
“Our members were subject to threats both verbally and physically, were battered with all types of bricks and rocks, and stood the line to help protect the citizens and their property,” Catanzara went on. “Our offices did this with the understanding that the looters and criminals would be prosecuted and held to account for their actions. It appears that this is not going to happen.”
At least one suspect was arrested outside the city’s Burberry boutique after hurling a brick at officers who witnessed him smashing through the store’s window and swiping items from the front display. Other officers were reportedly overwhelmed by the sheer number of looters. Many of the rioters drove into the city based on a rallying cry from a Facebook post.
Catanzara also echoed concerns from the city’s police superintendent David Brown who told reporters in a press conference that he felt the criminals were emboldened by the Cook County State's Attorney, Kim Foxx's, decision not to prosecute those who committed similar crimes back in May, according to the Daily Wire.
The Chicago Tribune reported last week that Foxx has not only been lenient on protesters, but on thousands of other felons, including sexual offenders, gun law violators, and even an alleged murderer, who all saw their cases dropped by Foxx’s office.
Catanzara claims that Foxx is unlikely to follow through on threats to prosecute the looters, which is why the police union is urging federal officials' involvement.
Foxx has, “very plainly and without explanation has decreed that her office has instituted a ‘presumption of dismissal’ for a host of charges. She makes this proclamation under some arbitrary theory that the offenders were protestors and somehow had the right to commit crimes due [to] the unfortunate death of George Floyd in Minnesota," Catanzara moved on.
"It is time for the State’s Attorney of Cook County to do her job, or if she refuses, the United States Attorney’s Office to step in,” he concluded.