by Daveda Gruber:
Charges against ” Empire” star Jussie Smollett were dropped in a stunning account from the Cook County State Attorney’s office.
It was announced that all 16 felony counts against Smollett, 36, were dropped in a nolle pros and the record in the case was sealed. Smollett voluntarily forfeited his bond money. Smollett’s attorney, Patricia Brown-Holmes, said the funds would likely go to the city of Chicago.
The charges had come after Smollet allegedly staged his own hate crime.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said that if he were accused of a crime that he would want his day in court to prove his innocence.
Johnson said, “Our job as police officers is to present them with the evidence … If someone ever falsely accused me [of a crime], I would never hide behind a brokered deal and secrecy. I don’t know what’s unusual for the state’s attorney but we found out about when you all did.
Prosecutors have their discretion of course, we still have to work with the state’s attorney’s office, we’ll have conversations after this. At the end of the day it was Smollett who committed this hoax.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called it a “whitewash of justice” that cost the city more than $10,000.
Emanuel said, “Our officers did hard work day in and day out, countless hours working to unwind what actually happened that night. The city saw its reputation dragged through the mud … It’s not just the officers’ work, but the work of the grand jury that made a decision based on only a sliver of the evidence [presented]. Because of the judge’s decision, none of that evidence will ever be made public. [This case] sends a clear message that if you’re in a position of influence and power you’ll be treated one way and if you’re not you’ll be treated another way,”
Smollet maintained his innocence and pleaded not guilty to all 16 counts against him.
Today, without a trial to determine if he was guilty of the 16 charges, Smollett is a free man.