Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel has insisted that Empire actor Jussie Smollett is guilty of faking a hate crime, and said the dropping of charges against the actor is “a whitewash of justice.”
He said that a grand jury and the State’s Attorney’s office had concluded that Smollett was guilty, and insisted that it was not a case of his word against the police department’s.
“Even after this whitewash, he still has no sense of ownership over what he’s done. He says he is the wronged in this case.”
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson: ‘The city is owed an apology’
Meanwhile, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said he doesn’t think justice has been served, and said the city is owed an apology.
“I’ve heard that they wanted their day in court, the TV cameras, so America could know the truth, but now they chose to hide behind secrecy and broker a deal to circumvent the judicial system.
“My job as a police officer is to investigate an incident, gather evidence, gather facts and present them to the state’s attorney. That’s what we did. I stand behind the detectives’ investigation.”
“Even after this whitewash, he still has no sense of ownership over what he’s done.”
– Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel
All charges—which included 16 felony counts—were dropped against Jussie Smollett earlier today after he claimed in January that he had been the victim of a homophobic and racist attack.
His initial claim led to an outpouring of public support—however, police later accused Smollett of staging the attack to further his own career.
In an unscheduled court appearance today (March 26), the state filed a motion to dismiss all charges against him and seal the case.
Jussie Smollett: ‘I have been truthful and consistent’
Speaking to the media after the court appearance, Smollett said: “I want to thank my family, my friends, the incredible people of Chicago, and people all over the country and the world who have prayed for me, supported me and shown me so much love.
“No one will ever know how much that has meant to me, and I will forever be grateful.”
He added: “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 was accused of.
“This has been an incredibly difficult time, honestly one of the worst of my entire life, but I am a man who has faith and knowledge of our history, and I would not bring my family, our lives and the movement through a fire like this. I just wouldn’t.”
“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 was accused of.”
– Jussie Smollett
Smollett thanked his legal counsel and the state of Illinois, before adding: “I’d like nothing more than to get back to work and move on with my life, but make no mistakes, I will always continue to fight for justice, equality and the betterment of marginalised people everywhere.”
In a statement earlier today, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said: “After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollet’s volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his bond to the City of Chicago, we believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case.”