In a shocking example of the failures of our criminal justice system, actor Jussie Smollett was able to evade 16 felony counts by paying the city of Chicago $10,000.
Here’s the official statement from Cook County Attorney General Kimberly M. Foxx:
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After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smolett’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.
Local police are furious about the outcome of the case.
“We worked closely throughout our three-week investigation to get to [the] point where we arrested the offender,” explains Chicago Police Department commander Ed Wodnicki. “For the state’s attorney at this point to dismiss charges without discussing this with us at all is just shocking.”
Mr. Smollett was hit with 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for making a false police report after investigators determined he faked a hate crime against himself because he was unhappy with his salary on the show Empire.
With the help of his agent, Smollett paid $3,500 to two Nigerian-American brothers to attack him in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood in late January. The brothers, dressed as Trump supporters, yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him before beating him, looping a noose around his neck, and covering him in a liquid Smollett claims was bleach.
Critics are furious that Smollett would take advantage of racism and homophobia to advance his career.
“This is without a doubt, a whitewash of justice and sends a clear message that if you are in a position of influence and power you’ll get treated one way, other people will be treated another way,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Despite the evidence, Smollett continues to insist the hate crime was real. “This has been an incredibly difficult time,” he said. “Honestly, one of the worst of my life.”
Author’s Note: I can understand a judge going easy on Smollett given the situation, but the way Foxx handled it Smollett’s records are sealed and the crime is not acknowledged. Foxx should be fired.
Editor’s Note: Since this story broke, politicians and celebrities have been calling for Federal action. I would think this might be appropriate, especially since Smollett continues to proclaim his innocence in public.