CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office says it has approved most of the felony charges requested by Chicago police stemming from the downtown looting early this week.
As of Thursday, State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx said, her office had approved all but one of the roughly 40 felony cases that were recommended by the Chicago Police Department.
“The State’s Attorney Office is ready and available to review cases brought to us by law enforcement and to charge those cases when appropriate,” Foxx said in a prepared statement. “I am committed to keeping our communities safe and continuing to collaborate with our law enforcement partners to demand accountability and seek justice for the people of Cook County.”
Foxx’s announcement appeared designed to head off persistent criticisms that her office is too lenient. These types of complaints gained intensity Monday, after mobs of young people damaged and looted downtown retail locations in a coordinated fashion.
Police made more than 100 arrests. Foxx noted some of the looting-related offenses could become misdemeanor or city-court cases, at the discretion of CPD.
“Defendants charged with misdemeanors that are directly filed by law enforcement are often released on bond at the police station,” Foxx's office said.
The office “becomes aware of the existence of misdemeanor cases a few days before the first court appearance."
Chicago police detectives continue sorting through surveillance images to track down additional looting suspects.
This week's vandalism and looting -- which drew national attention -- has prompted local authorities to effectively lock down Chicago's central business district overnight, through Monday morning.
Chicago Police Supt. David Brown says many offenders are emboldened because they expect the courts will let them off easily.