The Chicago prosecutor who decided to drop the charges against ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett admits that he doesn’t believe Smollett is innocent.
First Assistant State’s Attorney Joe Magats said that he thought Smollett was guilty but ‘based on the facts and circumstances’ of the case and his ‘lack of criminal background’, the decision was made not to pursue the 16 felony disorderly conduct charges Smollett was facing.
Smollett had been facing up to 48 years behind bars for lying to police by claiming he was attacked on January 29 by two men he said he could not identify and who he said called him racial and homophobic slurs. There was evidence that Smollett orchestrated the whole thing to make a name for himself and earn more money from his TV show gig at ‘Empire’.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson called the decision to drop the charges against Jussie a ‘whitewash of justice’. They also said Smollett got off ‘scot-free’ because he is famous.
He paid 10% of his $100,000 ($10,000) and did some community service.
State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx was exchanging text messages with a member of Smollett’s family. She is accused of trying to take the case out of the hands of the Chicago PD and have the FBI take it over. Apparently, that was a request of Smollett family friend Tina Tchen, who is Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff.
Mayor Emanuel said the sudden decision to drop the charges proved there is ‘one set of rules for the powerful and influential’ and another for others. “I’d like to remind everybody a grand jury indicted this individual based on only a piece of the evidence the police had gathered.”
There still is a matter of possible federal charges concerning the hate-filled letter he may have sent himself a week before.