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After O’Brien blames Foxx for killing of Walgreens employee, her campaign says rival is taking page from ‘Trump playbook’

“Ms. Calderon has no voice,” O’Brien said of the victim of last week’s fatal stabbing. “She won’t be able to go back to her children. She won’t be able to raise them. And that’s on Ms. Foxx.”

Pat O’Brien, Republican candidate for Cook County state’s attorney, speaks to reporters near the Walgreens store at 1372 N. Milwaukee Ave. on Sunday Sept. 13, 2020
Tom Schuba/Sun-Times

Pat O’Brien, the Republican candidate for Cook County state’s attorney, blamed Democratic incumbent Kim Foxx Sunday for the fatal stabbing of an employee at a Walgreens store in Wicker Park, prompting her campaign to accuse O’Brien of “fear mongering” and taking a page out of President Donald Trump’s “playbook.”

Last Sunday, 18-year-old Sincere Williams allegedly entered the Walgreens store at 1372 N. Milwaukee and repeatedly stabbed employee Olga Marie Calderon, a 32-year-old mother of two who was killed in the attack, officials reported.

Citing media reports, O’Brien said Williams was arrested in May and charged as a juvenile in a smash-and-grab burglary at a Melrose Park gun shop, adding that he was released from electronic home monitoring just days before the killing.

“[Foxx has] given more legal protection and more consideration to people that commit crimes than the people who are victims of crimes or potentially the victims of crimes,” O’Brien said during a brief news conference in front of the Walgreens store. “In this case, her failure to object and require the electronic monitoring may have cost Ms. Calderon her life.”

Tandra Simonton, a spokeswoman for the state’s attorney’s office, confirmed prosecutors “did not object” to Williams’ release from electronic monitoring “based on specific information presented to the court.” During Williams’ bond hearing Wednesday, his assistant public defender in the murder case said he suffers from schizophrenia.

Simonton wouldn’t provide any specifics about the juvenile case, which are kept confidential. Foxx campaign spokeswoman Alex Sims noted O’Brien, a former Cook County circuit court judge, knows that.

“Thus, he doesn’t have the details of that case, and he’s using this to engage in fear mongering straight out of the Trump playbook,” said Sims, apparently referring to the president’s tough-on-crime rhetoric.

O’ Brien “continues to exploit tragedy for his own political agenda,” she added.

Before Williams was ordered held without bail Wednesday, prosecutors mentioned the case but didn’t offer additional details. Officials have also said Williams was a suspect in two recent robberies in Wicker Park, one of which took place at the Walgreens where Calderon was slain.

On Sunday, O’Brien called on Foxx to “explain her actions” in the murder case.

“It is the role and the duty of the state’s attorney’s office to speak for us, to speak for victims,” O’Brien said. “They have no voice. Ms. Calderon has no voice. She won’t be able to go back to her children. She won’t be able to raise them. And that’s on Ms. Foxx.”