Protesters call for prosecution, boycott of R. Kelly outside Chicago studio in wake of 'Surviving R. Kelly'

ByJohn Garcia, Eric Horng, and Alexis McAdams WLS logo
Thursday, January 10, 2019
Protesters call for prosecution, boycott of R. Kelly outside Chicago studio
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Protesters outside R&B singer R. Kelly's West Side studio space called for a boycott of his music as well as prosecution of sexual assault Wednesday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Protesters outside R&B singer R. Kelly's West Side studio space called for a boycott of his music as well as prosecution of sexual assault Wednesday as Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx urges anyone to come forward with any allegations against him.

Organizers of Wednesday's demonstration said they believe the time is right for the allegations to turn into prosecution.

"We support the victims and we just want him to have his day in court," said Paris Robinson, demonstrator. "We demand he be brought to justice."

Two Chicago radio hosts called for Kelly's music to be taken off the airwaves.

"We need to realize that this person is a monster and stop celebrating this music," said Angi Taylor, KISS-FM morning show host.

"He cannot move around in the city of Chicago anymore after watching that docuseries," said Kendra G., WGCI Radio morning show host, through tears.

The allegations of sexual misconduct have followed Kelly for decades. While Kelly was found not guilty of similar charges 10 years ago, they believe times have changed.

"For those young ladies who have dealt with the abuse, they want vindication, they want accountability, they want to be able to go on with their lives," said Kenyette Tish Barnes, co-founder of Mute R. Kelly.

The protest comes after the airing of docuseries "Surviving R. Kelly" on Lifetime, which details sexual abuse allegations made against the singer over two and half decades, accusations Kelly has denied.

RELATED: R. Kelly's ex-wife shares story of abuse, survival to help other women

The Cook County States Attorney's Office said R. Kelly has been on their radar for several years. States Attorney Foxx said her office has spoken with two families who claim to have lost contact with their loved-ones who spent time with Kelly in Chicago.

"Please come forward," Foxx said. "There is nothing that can be done to investigate the allegations without the cooperation of both victims and witnesses."

During a Wednesday appearance on Windy City Live, Foxx said her office has received "numerous" calls since Monday's appeal, and they are investigating the claims.

"What we will not do is file charges that are not appropriate in the name of doing something for appeasing a public that wants something," she said.

Kelly's legal team said Foxx is on a fishing expedition, but authorities in Georgia are also talking with families from the docuseries.

There was no sign of Kelly outside his Chicago studio, though several of his associates stopped by to offer their support.

"People say what they want to say," said Derrick Macon, friend. "I know this man ain't guilty."

Officials from Chicago's fire and building departments were also at the studio knocking on doors. A Buildings Department spokesperson said inspectors were responding to a 311 call about people living in that warehouse, which is not zoned for that purpose. They were not able to enter but plan to obtain a court order to get inside.

RELATED: R. Kelly's accusers, inner circle revisit shocking allegations of abuse, sexual misconduct in new docuseries

ABC spoke with the producers of the docuseries who hope the show inspires other survivors to speak out.

"And they really feel like their voices are being heard and that's why they didn't come out sooner is because they thought their voice wasn't going to be heard, so to have that reception, they are very happy," said executive producer Tamra Simmons.

Kelly's attorney responded to Foxx's press conference, saying in a statement, "It is a disappointment that because of the publicity [Foxx] feels the need to solicit random baseless accusations so people can have their TMZ moment."

"For me, this is about making sure that the victims get some measure of justice," said Mikki Kendall, a local writer featured in the six-part docuseries.

WATCH: Full Kim Foxx press conference

Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx asked any possible victims of domestic violence or sexual assault by R. Kelly to contact her office.

In 2008, Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges in Chicago. He has also settled two lawsuits involving allegations of sex with underage girls.

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Kelly is reportedly under investigation in Georgia for allegations made against him in "Surviving R. Kelly." Foxx said she has not talked to the District Attorney in Georgia, but said if her office obtains any relevant information it will be shared. She said Kelly has a home in the Atlanta area.

At this time Chicago police are asking possible victims or witnesses to come forward. Victims or witnesses in the Chicagoland area can either contact their local police departments or the Cook County Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Unit directly at 773-674-6492.