CHICAGO — Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel spoke out again Wednesday and voiced his frustrations 24 hours after all charges were dropped against actor Jussie Smollett.
Smollett was accused of staging a hate crime attack on Jan. 29. A grand jury indicted him on 16 counts of disorderly conduct, but in a surprise move, prosecutors agreed to drop those charges and have the court records sealed.
Emanuel said he feels Smollett got special treatment from the court because he’s an actor. And Smollett still owes the city of Chicago and the police department an apology.
“In the process of uncovering whether a hate crime happened, it was (determined it was) a hoax, which they stood by yesterday,” he said. “The person that committed that hoax is walking around saying, ‘I’m innocent. And everything I said is true.’”
Johnson meets with police officials from NYC, LA
Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson was joined Wednesday by two other high profile law officers from New York City and Los Angeles to talk about the fight against violence. The conversation also went back to the controversy surrounding the Jussie Smollett case.
“We agreed to have the charges dismissed if he performed community service and paid the $10,000 fine, which he did. That in no way implies he is innocent or exonerated,” Johnson said. “Now it’s time to turn the page and move on to what we really do in the City of Chicago.”
Smollett’s lawyer responds
Smollett’s lawyer Patricia Brown Holmes released a statement Wednesday night saying:
We are disappointed the local authorities have continued their campaign against Jussie Smollett after the charges against him have been dropped. The facts are clear. The Assistant State’s Attorney appeared in court and dismissed the charges. Mr. Smollett forfeited his bond. The case is closed. No public official has the right to violate Mr. Smollett’s due process rights.
Mr. Smollett, like every citizen, is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Mr. Smollett is entitled to the same Constitutional protections as any citizen charged by the government with a crime— including the right to speak freely about his innocence, the right to be viewed as innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, and the right to hold the State to its burden of proving him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. None of that has occurred in this case.
We respectfully request all government agencies involved live up to the ethical tenants of their office, state and local law, Supreme Court Rules on Trial Publicity as well as the Rules of Professional Responsibility for lawyers and prosecutors. We will not try this case in a court of public opinion. There is no case to try. The case was dismissed. We should all allow Mr. Smollett to move on with his life as a free citizen.
Also Wednesday, the national project 21 Black Leadership Network asked the NAACP Image Awards to drop its nomination of Smollett at their upcoming show this weekend.
Additionally, State Rep. Mike McAuliffe said he will file legislation this week to deny film tax credits to any production company that hires Smollett.
Kim Foxx responds
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx spoke Wednesday for the first time since the charges were dropped. She defended her office’s decision.