FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 22, 2020
Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx Stands with Asian American Bar Associations in Condemning Surge of Discrimination and Hate Crimes during the COVID-19 Pandemic
CHICAGO, IL, April 22, 2020 – Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx recognizes and condemns the rise in discrimination and attacks against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) during the COVID-19 pandemic. She has announced that she will collaborate with local Asian American bar associations and other community organizations to investigate and prosecute all discrimination, harassment, and hate crimes in connection to the pandemic as appropriate.
On April 16, 2020, State’s Attorney Foxx met via video with the Asian American Bar Association of Greater Chicago (AABA), Chinese American Bar Association of Greater Chicago, Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago, Japanese American Bar Association, South Asian Bar Association, and Korean American Bar Association to discuss the surge in discrimination and hate crimes against AAPIs in connection with the Coronavirus Disease of 2019 (COVID-19). Foxx’s meeting with these bar associations was conducted as a result of their joint letter urging Foxx to publicly denounce these acts and protect the civil rights of AAPIs in Cook County. During the meeting, she condemned all racist attacks in connection with COVID-19 and directed victims of such attacks to her office.
“The circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic have created great challenges, unfortunately made worse by President Trump’s xenophobic rhetoric targeted at Asian Americans,” said Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx. “We recognize that these actions have increased danger and fear in the community and may cause hesitation to report a crime. My office will never tolerate discrimination or harassment, and we will prosecute hate crimes to the fullest extent of the law. We are working closely with community leaders to make sure victims have support and access to the resources they need. If you are the victim of a crime, please know that you are not alone. Call 911 in an emergency or the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office Victim Witness Unit at 773-674-7200 for help.”
AABA President Gary Zhao applauds Foxx’s quick, positive response to the bar associations’ letter. He looks forward to working with her to advocate for AAPIs in Cook County. He states, “AAPIs across the country are facing an unprecedented challenge as they are treated as scapegoats for the fear, anxiety, and uncertainties of a worldwide health crisis. But here in Chicago and Cook County, we are lucky to have leaders like Kimberly Foxx who will stand with the AAPI community. Chicago is home to people of many cultures and origins, and we have come a long way towards becoming a welcoming city for all. While public officials in many parts of the country have remained silent or have even fanned the flames of xenophobia, I am heartened that our leaders are dedicated to protecting all people in our community.”