Chicago Police Furious After Charges Against Smollett Dropped
BREAKING: Chicago PD Superintendent Eddie Johnson discusses dropping of Jussie Smollett charges. https://t.co/uXZag7WjoQ— ABC News (@ABC) March 26, 2019
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) and police officers, from Superintendent Eddie Johnson on down, are fuming after Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx unilaterally dropped all 16 felony charges against Empire star Jussie Smollett.
Chicago P.D. accused Smollett of faking a hate crime and blaming it on Trump supporters to further his career.
Foxx allegedly cited Smollett's community service as a reason to drop all charges.
The reaction by police was swift.
NEW: Chicago police tell our @SchulteABC7 that superintendent Eddie Johnson was not told about Smollett charges being dropped today. Johnson learned about it while at a scheduled police graduation at Navy Pier.— Rob Elgas (@RobElgasABC7) March 26, 2019
Sources tell CBS2 Chicago Police Supt. Johnson is “furious.”— Charlie De Mar (@CharlieDeMar) March 26, 2019
He had no heads up this was going to happen.@cbschicago
At an impromptu press conference following today's graduation for Chicago's police academy, Mayor Emanuel called the development "a whitewash of justice."
Superintendent Johnson won near universal acclaim last month for his public remarks detailing the case against Smollett. Johnson, an African-American, harshly criticized Smollett for exploiting the painful history of racism.
I’m left hanging my head and asking, why? Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? How could someone look at the hatred and suffering associated with that symbol and see an opportunity to manipulate that symbol to further his own public profile? How can an individual who has been embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in this city in the face by making these false claims? Bogus police reports cause real harm. They do harm to every legitimate victim who is in need of support by police and investigators as well as the citizens of this city. Chicago hosts one of the largest pride parades in the world, and we’re proud of that as a police department and also as a city. We do not, nor do we ever, tolerate hate in our city, whether that hate is based on an individual’s sexual orientation, race or anything else. So I’m offended by what has happened, and I’m also angry. I love the city of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department, warts and all. But this publicity stunt was a scar that Chicago didn’t earn and certainly didn’t deserve.
He added: “To make things worse, the accusations within this phony attack received national attention for weeks. Celebrities, news commentators and even presidential candidates weighed in on something that was choreographed by an actor.”
Earlier this month, the Chicago Tribune reported that Foxx had tried to persuade police to turn the investigation over to the FBI after an appeal by Tina Tchen, former chief of staff for First Lady Michelle Obama.
Controversy over Foxx's influence in the case had dogged her long before today's decision.
Even if you believe all of this, Foxx recused herself over apparent conflicts of interest, prompting CPD demands for a federal probe into her. For her to effectively un-recuse and make this call (blindsiding cops) isn’t going to tamp down the corruption angle. https://t.co/ZQtEFk95Pt— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) March 26, 2019
At an early press conference, Smollett attorneys Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes revealed the actor's record had "been wiped clean."
The public will not be allowed to learn more details about the case against Smollett, due to it being sealed.
Former prosecutors called the dismissal "a sickening abuse of prosecutorial discretion."