Cook County won't prosecute protesters for minor offenses

CHICAGO (AP) — The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office announced Tuesday that her office won’t prosecute protesters for minor offenses such as disorderly conduct, unlawful gathering and violating curfew.

State's Attorney Kim Foxx's announcement comes after the arrests of demonstrators who turned out by the thousands in Chicago and around the country in the wake of the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

“Over the past month we have seen righteous anger, collective grief, action, and demands for justice,” Foxx said in a news release. “I’m encouraged by the efforts of those who are standing against years of racial injustice to resoundingly state that ‘Black Lives Matter’. ”

Her spokeswoman said it is unclear how many people who were charged during the recent protests will be affected by the new policy.

At the same time, Foxx said her office will prosecute those who, she said, took advantage of the chaotic scenes to smash windows, start fires and committed other acts of vandalism during the protests.

Under the new policy, Foxx said her office would review incidents on a “case-by-case" basis to determine if prosecutions are warranted in the interest of public safety.