*Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.) is catching heat for saying R. Kelly could be “welcomed back” to his hometown Chicago following his conviction in a sex trafficking case.
“As an artist, one who … is gifted, I think he’ll be welcomed back into Chicago as a person who can be redeemed,” Davis said Monday on a video published by TMZ. “You know I’m a big believer in what is called second chances … so it all will really depend upon him.”
Watch him explain in the clip below.
Davis said Kelly should attempt to find “peace with his maker, peace with himself and reconcile with the universe for the acts that he may have committed.”
Kina Collins, a Democratic primary challenger to Davis, blasted the remarks.
“Congressman Davis’ statement today was thoughtless, distasteful, and incredibly disappointing for a man charged with representing thousands of Black women and girls in our district,” Collins said in a statement. “I’m shocked that my Congressman would choose today of all days to focus on second chances for a serial abuser rather than uplifting survivors. Second chances for those reentering communities from prison are critical. But by holding R. Kelly – a man who leveraged his wealth and power to evade justice and harm Black girls – as an example of what second chances look like, Davis is undermining the broader fight for justice.”
Davis attempted to clarify his comments in a statement to The Hill on Tuesday, saying: “Kelly has been accused of criminal acts, gone through a court of law, been convicted, and must serve whatever time the court decides,” Davis said.
“Yes, he has lived in Chicago, I am a law and order policymaker; therefore, I am focused on trying to arrest the coronavirus, raising the debt limit, passing a budget, maintaining and rebuilding our infrastructure, feeding the hungry, meeting the health needs, taking care of children, and improving the quality of life for all. Women and children must be respected and protected at all times and at all costs,” he continued.
Kelly was convicted Monday for racketeering in his federal sex crimes trial in Brooklyn. The disgraced singer faces decades in prison when he is sentenced. He also faces a federal trial in Chicago on child pornography and obstruction charges and similar charges in Minnesota.