connectVideoProsecutors drop case against Jussi Smollett
Lawyers for ‘Empire’ stars Jussi Smollett say against alleged he lied to the police about bias attack cases; Matt Finn reports from Chicago.
After the indictment was withdrawn against the “Empire” star Jussi Smollett for allegedly staging his own hate crime, Superintendent of Police of Chicago, Eddie Johnson and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel are furious with the outcome, calling it a “whitewash of justice” that cost the city more than $10,000.
“Where is the accountability in the system? You can not because of the position of a person is a set of rules is applicable to them and a different set of rules apply to everybody else,” Emanuel fumed on the ruling of the national college admissions cheating scandal that broke earlier this month.
“Our officers did the hard work day in and day out, many hours of workign to relax what actually happened that night. The city saw its reputation dragged through the mud … It is not only the officers’ work, but the work of the grand jury, who has made a choice on the basis of only a sliver of the evidence [offered],” he continued. “As a result of the decision of the court, none of that evidence will ever be made public.”
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“[In this case] sends a clear message that if you are in a position of influence and power youll be treated in a manner, and if you’re not treated any other way,” he said.
Johnson said: “it is Our job as police officers is to present them with the evdience … If someone ever falsely accused me of a crime], I would never hide behind a well-established treatment and secrecy.”
“I don’t know what it is unusual for the state, a lawyer, but we found out about when you’re all done,” he added.
“Prosecutors have their opinion, of course, we still have to work with the state lawyers’ office, we have meetings after this,” he said. “At the end of the day it was Smollett, who for this hoax.”
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Earlier Tuesday, the Cook County State Attorney’s office announced that all 16 felony counts against Smollett, 36, were dropped in a nolle pros, and the record in the case was closed. Smollett voluntarily forfeited his bond money and Smollett’s lawyer, Patricia Brown-Holmes, said the funds would likely go to the city of Chicago.
Brown-Holmes, the Chicago P. D., say they needed to “investigate claims” before to assume that the suspects guilt, and try them in the press.
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Johnson told the press in February: “I’m left stuck in my head and asking why: Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, using the symbolism of a noose around false accusations? How can anyone look at the hate and suffering in connection with that symbol…how can a person who is embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in this city by making this false assertion? Fake police report cause real damage.”
Smollett has maintained his innocence, and previously pleaded not guilty to all 16 counts against him.
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Smollett told the police that he was attacked by two masked men as he was walking home from a Chicago Subway sandwich shop around 2 a.m on Jan. 29. The actor, who is black and openly gay, said the masked men beat him, made derogatory remarks, and cried, “This is a BIG country” — a clear reference to President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again” — for the flight.
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However, the masked men were brothers, Abel and Ola Osundairo. The brothers were allegedly observed on surveillance cameras buying the rope that was around Smollett the neck after the attack. Johnson told the press that the police turned their investigation away from a hate crime and an alleged false declaration after the Osundairo brothers cooperated with the government.
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He later claimed on “Good Morning America” to have more evidence, that has not yet been made public that Smollett obliged with the attack. Johnson told anchor Robin Roberts that he worked “very closely” with the Osundairos the attorney to investigate the matter, and that Smollett was initially treated as a victim, not a suspect in the case.
“It is not the police of Chicago says [the attack was staged],” Johnson said at the time. “It is proof of the facts and the witnesses that says it all.”
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Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx, who recused himself from Smollett the event, previously asked Johnson to let the FBI investigate Smollett alleged attack after the former chief of staff to former first lady Michelle Obama reportedly informed Foxx that Smollett the family had concerns about the probe.
The Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham then claimed that Foxx was acting illegally with their research to Smollett the alleged crime. Graham reportedly wrote to the Ministry of Justice to investigate or Foxx himself broke any laws in connection with the probe.
It was Foxx’s office that is charged Smollett with lying to the police.
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Smollett’s lawyers previously destroyed the Chicago P. D.’s behavior, told Fox News they have “witnessed an organized law enforcement spectacle that has no place in the American legal system. The presumption of innocence, a bedrock in the quest for justice, was trampled on the bill of the Lord Smollett and, in particular, on the eve of a Mayor’s election. Mr. Smollett is a young man of impeccable character and integrity who fiercely and solemnly holds his innocence betrayed by a system that apparently wants to skip due process and go straight to the sentencing.”
Fox News’ Tyler McCarthy and Sasha Savitsky contributed to this report.