“As an artist who’s gifted… I think he’ll be welcomed in Chicago as someone who can be redeemed,” Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) told TMZ on Tuesday, the day after Kelly found guilty On one federal racketeering charge and eight charges related to the sex trafficking of minors and women.
Davis serves the 7th Congressional District of Illinois, which includes parts of Chicago. Originally from the city, Kelly has a sizable base of supporters there, despite decades of sexual abuse allegations against minors.
“I’m a big believer in what’s called Second Chance,” Davis said. When asked if he had anything to say to Kelly, Davis replied that he hopes the singer can “find peace with the producer and at peace with himself and reconciliation with the universe for the acts he has done.” could.”
Davis clarified his comments in a statement Tuesday afternoon.
“Kelly has been charged with criminal acts, went through a court of law, was convicted and must serve a time decided by the court,” he said, adding that he was “a law and order policy maker.” and “Women and children should be respected and protected at all times and at all costs.”
Davis’ primary challenger, Kina Collins, burst into Congressman for supporting Kelly.
“It’s distasteful to survivors whose voices have finally been heard and are just beginning to go through the healing process,” Collins tweeted.
“I’m still shocked that @RepDannyDavis would choose today out of all days to focus on 2 opportunities for a serial abuser instead of uplifting survivors,” she wrote in a separate Tweet. “She’s silent about attacks on our reproductive rights — attacks that cause immense harm to black women — but she has time for R. Kelly.”
Among the victims who testified at Kelly’s trial in New York were a large number of young black women, some of whom were younger when Kelly first sexually abused them. All of them use their fame and power to groom and control Kelly, as well as creating an atmosphere of fear to Kelly. Many testified that the singer enforced strict rules that included calling him “daddy”, physically thrashing him, and controlling what he wore, where he went and what he ate.
One victim said of Kelly during her testimony, “He can instill in me the fear of God very quickly.”
Collins expanded on his tweets in a statement, criticizing Davis’ comments as “incredibly depressing,” especially since he represents “thousands of black women and girls” in his congressional district.
“Led by black women – it took years of activism to hold R. Kelly accountable. They have done immeasurable harm to so many women in our district and throughout Chicago,” Collins said. Serving time is a far cry. When so many survivors are able to begin their healing process, Congressman Davis’ statement shows how out of touch he is with the community he claims to represent.
Kelly will move to Chicago to face more federal charges related to sexual abuse. His sentence at the New York trial is set for May, and he could face life in prison.