Kim Foxx: Candidate Profile
Cook County State's Attorney
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Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
Family: Married- Kelley Foxx (43), married since 2001
Children- Kai Foxx (12), Kendall Foxx (9)
Education: BA- Political Science
Civic involvement: Past President/ current board member--Planned Parenthood of Illinois
Past President/current board member--Free Spirit Media
Board Trustee-- Adler University
Advisory Board Member--University of Illinois, Institute of Policy and Government Affairs
Past Board Member--Get In Chicago
2009 Fellow--Leadership Greater Chicago
2014 Edgar Fellow
Past Board member--Leadership Greater Chicago Fellows Association
Past Vice President---Chicago Council of Lawyers
Past President--Chicago Chapter National Black Prosecutors Association
Elected offices held:
How concerned are you about police and prosecutors' treatment of black suspects in Cook County? What would you change?
This question cuts to the core problem that is motivating my candidacy: our criminal justice system in Cook County is fundamentally broken, and current State's Attorney Anita Alvarez had a hand in breaking it.
I am deeply concerned about the gross disparity of the Cook County Jail's population. 86% of Cook County's inmates are Black and Latino, despite only representing 50% of the county population. Additionally, the juvenile justice system is comprised of 94% Blacks and Latinos. The issue of disproportionate minority contact with the criminal justice system is not unique to Cook County, however there has been no efforts on behalf of the current State's Attorney to address these disturbing trends. This concern is one of the main reasons that I am running for State's Attorney, and I would change almost everything about how the office operates in order to address this problem and correct this injustice.
How would you have handled the case of Laquan McDonald differently, in hindsight?
Alvarez has failed at her job time and time again. Her failure to press charges against Officer Van Dyke for 400 days in the Laquan McDonald case is only the latest failure to protect victims and execute justice in a timely and effective manner.
As State's Attorney, I would not have given Officer Van Dyke 400 days to be on the streets in uniform as a threat to public safety before charging him with murder. I would not have given Officer Van Dyke 400 days to continue to collect a paycheck so he could readily post bond after his bond hearing. I would have taken statements from all of the witnesses, civilian and police officers alike, I would have subpoenaed all of the CPD dash cam videos, area blue light camera videos, OEMC recordings, any and all police reports, medical examiner reports, autopsy reports, Illinois State Police forensic analysis results and reports, and CPD ballistics reports and results. I then would have referred the case to the State Appellate Prosecutor for the proper prosecution of the matter because there is an inherent conflict of interest in having the CCSAO prosecute police-involved shootings when the CCSAO works hand-in-hand on a daily basis with the CPD.
Is the state's attorney's office biased toward police in cases of possible police misconduct? What evidence supports your opinion? If yes, how would you eliminate that bias?
The question of bias is secondary to the bigger concern that there is a conflict of interest in having the CCSAO investigate and prosecute cases of police misconduct. According to Webster's dictionary, a conflict of interest exists when there's a conflict between the private interests and the official responsibilities of a person in a position of trust. The CCSA has a private interest in local police departments because she relies on them to investigate cases and bring her criminal suspects. The CCSA cannot fulfill her official responsibilities that she has been entrusted to fulfill by the People of Cook County to prosecute law enforcement the same as any civilian defendant because of the nature of her dependent relationship with local law enforcement. Anita Alvatez's delay and under charging in the Officer Dante Servin case is evidence of this conflict. Anita Alvarez's delay in charging Officer Jason Van Dyke is evidence of this conflict.
As State's Attorney, I cannot eliminate that conflict. But I can ensure that police officers are investigated and prosecuted just like every other Cook County defendant by invoking the use of a Special Prosecutor, namely the State's Appellate Prosecutor, to prosecute cases of police-involved crimes.
The fact that Ms. Alvarez has not used this mechanism either speaks to how ill equipped she is to serve in this capacity, or furthers the appearance that she continues to protect law enforcement charged with criminal offenses by ensuring their cases are mishandled and their trials result in findings of not guilty.
List any relations (including those related to you by marriage, and nieces/nephews) who are on the public payroll in Illinois, their jobs and who they work for.
Aaron Anderson (brother)--Attorney, State of Illinois Human Rights Commission
Please list any elected office you have ever run for and what the result of that election was. Have you ever been appointed to fill an unexpired term?
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
I'm a veteran prosecutor with a record of getting things done. I'm the only candidate with
the unique life experiences needed to make Cook County's broken criminal justice system fair for everyone while doing the hard work to make our communities safer.
That hard work will include focusing on the following:
* Reprioritizing how low level offenses, substance abuse crimes, and mental health offenders are treated is one of my top priorities. We, as Cook County taxpayers, have spent $778 million dollars between 2006 and 2015 just in housing drug offenders in Cook County jail. Additionally, every year almost 6000 cases are dismissed at the preliminary hearing stage--mostly low level drug offenses. A significant number of these cases saw defendants spend 21 days in Cook County Jail at a cost of $143 per day. It costs tax payers millions of dollars annually on cases that the State's Attorney knows at the outset will go nowhere. That money could be better spent on treatment/diversion services. Our criminal justice system didn't treat their addictions with that money, it simply housed them. That money could have been better spent working to improve the criminal courts and how we treat offenders with addictions and mental health issues.
* Gun violence continues to plague our communities and cost countless lives. I am committed to not simply focus of gun possession but also to establish a unit to address gun trafficking. The CCSAO should act more collaboratively with our federal partners in the ATF, FBI, and U.S. Attorney's Office to stop the influx of guns into our communities.
* Juvenile justice reform is a top priority as well. I am committed to disrupting the school to prison pipeline by working with stakeholders to stop the use of the juvenile justice system to deal with school discipline issues. It has been well researched and documented that the earlier a child is introduced into the criminal justice/juvenile justice system, the greater the likelihood he/she will enter the adult justice system. Too often, juvenile court is used to address common adolescent behaviors that many schools feel ill-equipped to handle. There must be greater collaboration with the State's Attorney's office and education officials to ensure that one those children requiring court intervention are referred to juvenile court, and that meaningful alternatives like restorative justice are used where warranted.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor
What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
My grandmother instilled in my brother and I the cardinal rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. That basic principle guided my values around fairness and justice. I was also taught to make sure to look out for those in need--for you never know when you might need others.
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
I would have spent more time with my grandmother and mother, documenting their stories to pass on to my daughters.
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
English was my favorite subject. I enjoyed reading as a child and wanted to write the great American novel. I minored in English and creative writing in college. Studying English and creative writing helped immensely throughout my legal career. As a lawyer, being able to clearly articulate in written form is critical.
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Refuse to accept societal imposed limitations--believe that you can achieve the impossible.