CHICAGO — Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson criticized the decision to drop all charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett.
Four times, Emanuel called the decision “a white wash of justice.”
Chicago’s mayor and top cop were welcoming new officers at a CPD graduation Tuesday morning, when they received word that all charges had been dropped against the actor, and that his record was expunged. Prosecutors said they voluntarily discontinued the case.
Emanuel and Johnson held a press conference directly after the CPD graduation to address the dropped charges.
“Do I think justice was served? No,” Johnson said. “I think this city is still owed an apology. I’ve been a cop now for 31 years. When I came on this job, I came on with my honor, my integrity and my reputation. If someone accused me of doing anything that would circumvent that, then i would want my day in court. Period. To clear my name.”
Johnson said his job as a police officer is to gather evidence and facts and present them to the state’s attorney. He said he stands behind the detectives’ investigation.
A visibly angry Emanuel asked, “Where is the accountability in the system?”
This is without a doubt a white wash of justice and send a clear message that if you’re in a position of influence and power, you’ll get treated one way, other people will be treated another way,” he said. “There is no accountability in the system. It is wrong – full-stop.”
Emanuel criticized Smollett for not taking any responsibility despite what he described as “overwhelming evidence.” He also said Smollett continues to drag Chicago’s reputation through “the mud.”
“Is there no decency in this man?”
To add insult to injury, Johnson confirmed the State’s Attorney’s office informed him about the decision to drop all charges. This includes including Kim Foxx, who reportedly reached out to the Johnson early on in the investigation to personal plead with him to turn the case over the FBI
“I’m sure we’ll have some conversation after this,” he said. “But again, at the end of the day, it’s Mr. Smollett that committed this hoax, period. If he wanted to clear his name, the way to do that was in a court of law so that everyone could see the evidence.”
The Fraternal Order of Police also repeated its call to have the Department of Justice investigate the contact Foxx reportedly had with an attorney close to Smollett’s family early on in the investigation, calling it improper.
The FOP is also asking that federal authorities continue looking into a death threat that was allegedly sent to Smollett at the Chicago studios where “Empire” is filmed, days before the alleged attack. That letter reportedly contained a white powder that turned out to be aspirin. Legal experts have said if Smollett mailed the letter to himself, he could be charged with mail fraud.