Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson came out swinging, still strongly blaming Jussie Smollett for wasting his department’s time and resources by allegedly conducting a fake hate crime. Johnson is reportedly “furious” that the Empire actor’s charges were dropped and criminal record cleared by prosecutors, CBS reports.
Smollett made a stunningly surprise court appearance on Tuesday and it was learned that the state decided not to pursue 16 indictment charges filed against the actor. His attorney professes there was no deal made with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office to drop the charges.
Johnson spoke out about the latest revelation on Tuesday at Navy Pier about the case.
“My personal opinion is, you all know where I stand on this,’” Johnson said. “Do I think justice was served? No. What do I think justice is? I think this city is still owed an apology.”
Equally angered was Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel who said it was a “whitewash of justice” for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s to drop charges against Smollett, The Wrap reports.
“This is a whitewash of justice,” Emanuel said Tuesday afternoon during a joint press conference with the police. “A grand jury could not have been clearer.”
Anthony Guglielmi, the chief communications officer for the Chicago Police, also criticized the decision, saying on Twitter: “Chicago police detectives did an excellent investigation and their work was reaffirmed by an independent grand jury who brought 16 criminal counts. In our experience, innocent individuals don’t forget bond & perform community service in exchange for dropped charges.”
Chicago police detectives did an excellent investigation and their work was reaffirmed by an independent grand jury who brought 16 criminal counts. In our experience, innocent individuals don’t forget bond & perform community service in exchange for dropped charges. https://t.co/P9rsvUMwwZ
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) March 26, 2019
Jussie’s in the clear
Jussie Smollett, however, remains in the clear after appearing in a Chicago courtroom for an emergency hearing Tuesday morning. It was decided that he would not face any criminal charges for allegedly lying to police in what many saw as a racial and homophobic related attack.
Smollett’s previous community service was taken into consideration and he must surrender his $10,000 bond as restitution, but otherwise, the case and the situation appears to be over.
20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment, which produces Empire, has also released a statement on Instagram saying that they are “gratified that all charges against him have been dismissed.”
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Feeling relieved, Smollett spoke out during a press conference with his attorney at his side, and opened up about the emotional roller coaster, vowing that he has been consistent and honest since the beginning.
“First of all I want to thank my family, friends and the incredible people of Chicago, and all over the country and the world who have prayed for me and supported me and shown me so much love. No one will ever know how much that meant to me and I will forever be grateful.
I want you to know that not for a moment was it in vain. 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.
“This has been an incredibly difficult time, honestly one of the worst of my entire life. But I am a man of faith and I am a man who has knowledge of my history and I would not bring my family, our lives or the movement through the fire like this. I just wouldn’t.”
Surprisingly, Smollett’s attorney said that brothers Ola and Abel Osundairo admitted to attacking him, but there is no word on whether charges will be brought against them.
The Cook County state’s attorney’s office released a statement about the dropped charges against Smollett. It said in part:
“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.”
Smollett’s attorneys Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes issued a joint statement after the hearing saying that Smollett was “a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator as a result of false and inappropriate remarks made to the public causing an inappropriate rush to judgment.”
The statement goes on to say that Smollett and others were hurt by these unfair and unwarranted actions.
“This entire situation is a reminder that there should never be an attempt to prove a case in the court of public opinion. That is wrong. It is a reminder that a victim, in this case Jussie, deserves dignity and respect. Dismissal of charges against the victim in this case was the only just result.
“Jussie is relieved to have this situation behind him and is very much looking forward to getting back to focusing on his family, friends and career.”
Take a look at the press conference below: