- Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson and Mayor Rahm Emanuel held a press conference on Tuesday in which they slammed the Cook County prosecutors’ office for dropping charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett.
- Prosecutors have not said why they decided to drop charges, and Johnson said Chicago is “owed an apology.”
- Emanuel called the decision to drop charges a “whitewash of justice” and said Smollett needs to be held accountable.
Chicago Police and Mayor Rahm Emanuel held a press conference on Tuesday slamming the Cook County prosecutors’ office for dropping charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett.
Smollett had been charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct in February related to accusations that he staged a hate crime against himself in Chicago in January and filed a false police report. Smollett has denied faking the attack.
Prosecutors have not said why they decided to drop charges, though a spokesperson for the Cook County State Attorney’s Office said Smollett forfeited the $US10,000 bail he posted after his arrest.
Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson expressed disappointment over the prosecutors’ decision.
“Do I think justice was served? No. What do I think justice is? I think this city is still owed an apology,” he said.
Johnson suggested that Smollett’s attorneys brokered a deal with prosecutors, and said he stands by his department’s investigation into the incident.
“At the end of the day, it’s Mr. Smollett who committed this hoax, period,” Johnson said. “I heard that they wanted their day in court … so America could know the truth, and they chose to hide behind a secrecy of a brokered deal to circumvent the judicial system.”
Johnson said he was surprised to learn that prosecutors were dropping charges, and that he was told at the same time the public was told.
“The city saw its reputation dragged through the mud,” said Emanuel. “It’s not just the officers’ work, but the work of the grand jury that made a decision based on only a sliver of the evidence [presented]. Because of the judge’s decision, none of that evidence will ever be made public.”
“This is a whitewash of justice,” Emanuel said. “This is a person who has been let off scot-free with no sense of the accountability of the moral and ethical wrong of his actions.”
He said people need to be held accountable for what happened.
“At the end of the day, it’s Mr. Smollett that committed this false claim upon two individuals and who also testified, but also on the city. One action, yes, we’re looking at the state’s attorney. It’s not on the level from beginning to end and there needs to be a level of accountability throughout the system, and this sends an ambiguous message that there is no accountability and that is wrong,” he said.
Smollett had described being the victim of a racist, homophobic attack in January. Police arrested two brothers, Ola and Abel Osundairo, while investigating Smollett’s claims but said they told officers that Smollett had paid them $US3,500 to stage the attack.
The police then accused Smollett of hiring the two men and orchestrating the attack because he was unhappy with his salary on “Empire.”
Smollett denied staging the hate crime at a press conference after the charges against him were dropped, saying he has “been truthful and consistent on every level since day one.”
- Read more:
- ‘Empire’ ratings plunge after Jussie Smollett’s arrest
- Jussie Smollett pleads not guilty to 16 charges in hoax assault case
- Chicago Police are investigating their own officers over reports that they leaked information about the Jussie Smollett case
- Robin Roberts says her interview with Jussie Smollett was a ‘no-win situation’
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