Earlier today Jussie Smollett was dramatically cleared of staging a hoax attack on himself on January 29.
This is of course is a huge victory for Jussie, but hugely embarrassing for the Chicago PD.
Speaking at a press conference, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson insisted Smollett was guilty of lying about a homophobic and racist attack.
Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel has also slammed the decision to drop all charges against Smollett calling it a “whitewash of justice.”
It remains unclear what prompted the decision but the Cook County’s State’s Attorney’s office said it was due in part to Smollett’s “volunteer service in the community.”
“Is There No Decency In This Man”
Both the Mayor of Chicago and the Superintendent say they are “blindsided” by the announcement. They say they only found out about the shocking decision to drop the charges against Smollett while attending a police academy graduation ceremony.
“Without a doubt this is a whitewash of justice and sends a clear message that if you are in a position of influence and power, you’ll be treated one way. It is wrong,” Mayor Emanuel said.
He went on to condemn Smollett for speaking out after the court hearing and protesting his innocence.
“Mr. Smollett is still saying that he is innocent, still running down the Chicago Police Department… how dare him. How dare him after everybody saw. Is there no decency in this man?”
“We Did Not Exonerate Him”
Smollett was indicted on 16 felony counts that were returned by a grand jury. Emanuel said it proved that it was not just the police department who thought he was guilty.
“This is not the superintendent’s word against his. The grand jury saw a sliver of the evidence and they came to a conclusion,” he said.
He added that Smollett’s attorneys’ request to have all the evidence sealed meant that the “truth would never come out.”
“We did not exonerate him. We work to prioritize violent crime and the drivers of violent crime.”
“Public safety is our number one priority. I don’t see Jussie Smollett as a threat to public safety,” Joe Magats, Assistant State’s Attorney, told The New York Times.
Will Jussie Smollett Sue The Chicago PD?
BREAKING: Chicago PD Superintendent Eddie Johnson discusses dropping of Jussie Smollett charges. https://t.co/uXZag7WjoQ— ABC News (@ABC) March 26, 2019
He Faced 48 Years In Prison
Smollett had been facing up to 48 years behind bars on 16 felony counts of lying to police.
The Empire actor claims he was attacked by two men who shouted racial and homophobic slurs at him.
There is no doubt that brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo were the attackers, but it unclear why. The two were Smollett’s personal trainers.
Police say their motive was simple: Smollett asked them to and paid them to do it.
In his statement on Tuesday, Smollett gave no other explanation for the attack but said he had been truthful all along in his claims that he did not recognize them when they jumped him.
Will He Sue Chicago PD?
BREAKING: Jussie Smollett speaks after all charges were dropped: "I have been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one. I would not be my mother's son if I was capable of one drop of what I have been accused of." https://t.co/B2ahaJAW4t pic.twitter.com/0bgEBJFN33— ABC News (@ABC) March 26, 2019
“I want to thank my family, my friends, the incredible people of Chicago and all over the country and world who have prayed for me, supported me and shown me love,” Smollett told the press.
“No one will ever know how much that has meant to me. Not for a moment was it in vain,” he said.
After making his statement, Smollett took selfies with fans outside the courthouse then got into a waiting car.
He refused to say whether he planned to fight against Chicago Police Department or the prosecutor’s office for but said he would continue to “fight for justice” and for the “marginalized” people of the world.