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Police union president slams Foxx, prosecutors after exonerations

First Assistant State's Attorney Eric Sussman sits with Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx during a meeting with the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board in March 2017. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

In the wake of Cook County’s first mass exoneration, the president of the rank-and-file Chicago Police officers’ union lambasted State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and her staff in a Friday letter to the Chicago Sun-Times, accusing prosecutors of pandering to a “powerful anti-police movement in the city.”

Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham singled out First Assistant State’s Attorney Eric Sussman, who opted not to continue pressing charges against Jose Maysonet in a double-murder case. Sussman’s decision came after five officers who worked alongside former Det. Reynaldo Guevara indicated they would invoke their Fifth Amendment right not to testify in the case.

Kevin Graham, president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police. | Sam Charles/Sun-Times

“Sussman’s decision not to retry Maysonet and then blaming the police for his decision is despicable, another powerful sign of his antipathy to law enforcement,” Graham wrote.

Neither Sussman nor anyone in Foxx’s press office responded to multiple requests for comment on Friday.

Maysonet was freed Wednesday after spending nearly three decades behind bars. Graham was writing in response to a Thursday Sun-Times editorial that called it “disturbing” to see the officers take the Fifth. He called the editorial “wholly biased and misinformed.”

“The truth is that detectives in these cases generally want to testify, but they can no longer trust the Cook County state’s attorney to rule on these cases based upon the evidence,” Graham wrote, saying Foxx is leading a movement “away from prosecuting criminals into vilifying police officers.

“To do so, her administration has decided, much as the Chicago media has, to ignore the powerful evidence of corruption in the industry of accusing the police of misconduct as a means of garnering large settlements,” he wrote.

Maysonet’s exoneration was followed by 15 more on Thursday stemming from cases tied to disgraced CPD Sgt. Ronald Watts, in what was thought to be the first mass exoneration in Cook County’s history.