The following is one in a series of reports based on an interview The Western Journal conducted with Sgt. Betsy Brantner Smith. Smith is a retired police veteran from Chicago’s suburbs who currently serves as a spokeswoman for the National Police Association.
Click here to read the first installment of the series, which details Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s failure to address the city’s crime problem, and here to read the previous installment on how Chicago’s police reform push is hampering law enforcement’s efforts to reduce violent crime.
The murder crisis in Chicago continues to deteriorate at an unrelenting pace.
As of June 12, there have been 294 homicide victims in the city so far this year, which puts 2021 on track to outpace 2020’s number of homicides, according to the Chicago Tribune. This is especially concerning considering that 2020 itself saw a huge uptick in Chicago homicides when compared to the previous year.
Many attribute this crisis to a lack of arrests, but according to Sgt. Betsy Brantner Smith — who served as a police officer for 29 years in Chicago’s suburbs — the problem instead lies with Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot and their progressive agenda.
Lightfoot, whose office is currently pushing a bevy of police and criminal justice reform measures, has been a staunch supporter of Foxx despite the latter’s inability to curb Chicago’s crime problem.
“It is not necessarily about how many arrests the Chicago Police Department is making; it is about how those cases are being prosecuted,” Smith told The Western Journal.
“We have a Soros-funded progressive prosecutor in the Cook County state’s attorney’s office — that is Kim Foxx — and she is one of the many progressive prosecutors that have been elected in the last eight to 10 years in this country.”
Foxx’s ties to George Soros have been well-documented. According to The Washington Post, Soros “plunked $300,000 into a PAC created to elect Kim Foxx as the state’s attorney” in 2016. In Foxx’s campaign for re-election, the progressive billionaire gave another $2 million to a group backing her, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
According to a Heritage Foundation report, Foxx is part of the “rogue prosecutor movement,” a campaign made up of various progressive prosecutors aimed at “promoting the fundamental transformation of our criminal justice system.”
“They brazenly usurp the constitutional role of the legislative branch by refusing to prosecute entire categories of crime, abuse the role of the county prosecutor, fail to protect victims of crime, and ignore the rising crime rates that flow from their radical policies,” the authors of the report wrote.
Indeed, Foxx’s progressive agenda has brought about reduced sentencing and greater leniency for violent offenders.
“The Chicago Police Department can go arrest everybody,” Smith said. “The problem is, the Chicago Police Department does not prosecute those crimes and there is one of your big problems in the city of Chicago.”
When compared to her predecessor, Anita Alvarez, Foxx and her office have dropped an exorbitant number of felony cases, according to an analysis conducted by the Chicago Tribune.
Despite Foxx’s insistence that her office has only dismissed cases against “low-level, nonviolent offenders,” the Tribune found that the cases dropped include defendants “accused of murder, shooting another person, sex crimes, and attacks on police officers.”
Additionally, under Foxx’s tenure, an increasing number of defendants have been freed on the condition that they undergo electronic home monitoring, the Tribune reported.
In some of these cases, defendants have gone on to remove or destroy their ankle bracelets, which constitutes a felony escape charge.
Most of these felony escape charges have been dropped by Foxx’s office.
Roughly 400 Chicago citizens are charged with felony escape every year, according to the Tribune. When Alvarez was in office, she dropped a total of 55 felony escape cases.
Foxx has dropped 429.
Even in cases not dropped by her office, there are plenty of examples where Foxx’s prosecutors have been incredibly lenient with violent offenders.
In one recent example, a 29-year-old woman named Deangela Eaton was sentenced to 10 years for shooting a Chicago police officer in the officer’s protective vest, as reported by WGN-TV.
Eaton was initially charged with attempted murder with a firearm but was allowed to plead her case down to aggravated battery in Cook County, which according to Smith is akin to hitting a police officer in the nose.
“She’s going to get 10 years in prison — our system in Illinois she will be out in four,” Smith told The Western Journal.
“That’s for attempted murder of a police officer who she shot in the chest. The only reason he’s alive is because he had on a ballistic vest.
“That is a very typical scenario in Cook County, Illinois.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.