Chicago looters must be prosecuted, FOP president says, appeals to feds saying Foxx too soft on crime

Thursday, August 13, 2020
Chicago looters must be prosecuted for actions, FOP president says; Catanzara appeals to feds, saying Foxx too soft on crime
The FOP president is asking the feds to help prosecute those involved in recent looting across Chicago.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The president of the Fraternal Order of Police says looters need to be prosecuted for their actions.

And he believes that is not going to happen, so he's appealing to federal prosecutors.

FOP President John Catanzara Jr. hand-delivered a letter to U.S. Attorney John Lausch's office at the Dirksen Federal Building Thursday morning.

In the one-and-a-half-page letter, he asks federal prosecutors to step in to pursue charges against looters who took part in the chaos in Downtown, the Loop and other areas of the city on Monday.

Catanzara said Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx will let suspects cycle through the system without consequences.

He believes criminals took aim at the Downtown area again, after getting away with the same crimes during the widespread unrest that took place in late May in the wake of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis.

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Chicago police are asking for the public's help in identifying those who took part in this week's looting.

"Unless you're gonna charge 'em with domestic terrorism, that's about the only thing you can really do because you can make the argument that their violence is a form of domestic terrorism," Catanzara said.

Foxx has rejected the notion that she is soft on crime.

She has said her office has not dropped any looting cases related to what happened in May.

"The issue is about making sure we hold people accountable, and we've been doing that and being honest and forthright about how the process works and not politicizing this," Foxx said.

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Catanzara carbon-copied President Donald Trump on the letter, along with U.S. Attorney General William Barr.

The FOP president has been highly critical of Mayor Lori Lightfoot, saying her response to the looting and general city violence has been a complete failure.

Lightfoot was, at about the same time, leading a teleconference about police reform in Chicago.

The call included mayors and police chiefs from 1,400 cities across the country. They unveiled a report highlighting police reform and tackling racial injustice.

Back in July, he wrote the president, asking for help to bring law and order to the city, only to be blasted by nearly two dozen lawmakers who disagreed, saying more policing is not the answer.

The FOP is also asking the feds to shut down a protest on the Dan Ryan Expressway planned for this weekend, citing federal jurisdiction over impeding interstate commerce.

"I want them to come and lock up anybody who steps in the expressway and charge them with felony federal charges," Catanzara said.

Lausch's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.