- Jussie Smollett’s defence team responded on Thursday after Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel said that the “Empire” actor “has been let off scot-free with no sense of the accountability.”
- Emmanuel and Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson slammed the Cook County prosecutor’s office for dropping charges against the actor over allegations he faked a hate crime.
- “It is the Mayor and the Police Chief who owe Jussie – owe him an apology – for dragging an innocent man’s character through the mud. Jussie has paid enough,” Smollett’s defence team said.
Jussie Smollett’s defence team responded on Thursday to Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel after he blasted the “Empire” actor and described Cook County prosecutors’ decision to drop charges against him a “whitewash of justice.”
Prosecutors announced on Tuesday that the actor would face no charges over allegations that he faked a hate crime. Two weeks earlier, the actor pleaded not guilty to 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct related to accusations that he filed a false police report and staged an attack against himself.
Hours after the announcement, Emmanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson held a news conference slamming prosecutors.
“Do I think justice was served? No. What do I think justice is? I think this city is still owed an apology,” Johnson said. He suggested during the press conference that Smollett’s attorneys brokered a deal with prosecutors.
“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,” Emmanuel said. “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.”
In response to the mayor, Smollett’s defence team said: “It is the Mayor and the Police Chief who owe Jussie – owe him an apology – for dragging an innocent man’s character through the mud. Jussie has paid enough.”
More from Jussie Smollet team.
STATEMENT FROM JUSSIE SMOLLETT'S DEFENSE TEAM REGARDING MAYOR EMMANUEL'S STATEMENT
“It is the Mayor and the Police Chief who owe Jussie – owe him an apology – for dragging an innocent man’s character through the mud. Jussie has paid enough.”
— Charlie De Mar (@CharlieDeMar) March 28, 2019
Emmanuel told WGN Radio on Thursday morning that he will try to bill Smollett for the costs of the investigation into the alleged hate crimes. Later that day, Chicago officials said the city will seek $US130,000 from the actor.
President Donald Trump also spoke out in response to Smollett’s case, tweeting on Thursday that the FBI and the Department of Justice will review the case and that it was “an embarassment to our Nation!”
FBI & DOJ to review the outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago. It is an embarrassment to our Nation!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2019
The FBI was already investigating whether Smollett played a role in sending a threatening letter to himself, and it is unclear exactly how those agencies will be involved. In response to the president’s remarks, Emmanuel said on Thursday that the president should “stay out of this.”
“The only reason why Jussie Smollett thought he could get away with a hoax about a hate crime was because of the environment that President Trump created,” Emmanuel said.
- Read more:
- Jussie Smollett’s lawyer suggested that the Nigerian men who claim the actor hired them to stage a hate crime could have been wearing ‘whiteface’
- How ‘Empire’ star Jussie Smollett went from victim, to suspect, to cleared of all charges after reporting a hate crime
- ‘Empire’ ratings plunge after Jussie Smollett’s arrest
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