UPDATED 1:13 PM PT — Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Chicago Police and the city’s mayor express outrage after prosecutors drop charges against Jussie Smolett in connection with allegations of planning and carrying out a hate crime against himself.
During a press briefing Tuesday, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson accused prosecutors of brokering a deal with defense attorneys to clear Smollett of state charges. Johnson said justice was not served in this case. He stands by the evidence, and said charges were rightfully filed.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the unexpected move sends a clear message that if you’re in a position of influence you will be treated differently.
“Mr. Smolett is still saying that he is innocent, still running down the Chicago Police Department — how dare him, how dare him after everybody saw, and I want to remind you this is not the superintendent’s word against his…the grand jury…a sliver of the evidence…they came to a conclusion as did the state’s attorneys office,” he stressed. “This is not superintendent and the detective’s department’s word against his, and even after this white wash, still no sense of ownership of what he’s done — he says that, in fact, he is the wronged in this case.”
Donald Trump Jr. applauded Emanuel for his response.
Prosecutors said they made the decision, because they believe a jury would not find Smollett guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Others argue the Cook County State attorney — Kim Foxx — did it for political reasons, citing her previous recusal from the case over conflict of interest. Reports also cited Foxx’s connection to left-wing Hollywood players, and the nearly half a million dollar donation she received from billionaire liberal George Soros.
Smollett could still face federal charges.