Outrageous Double Standard: All Smollett Charges Dropped

Outrageous Double Standard: All Smollett Charges Dropped

Less than two weeks after “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly lying to police about a hate crime, prosecutors have dropped charges in the case. “I would not be my mothers son if I was capable of doing what I was accused of,” Smollett said after prosecutors dropped all the charges. “I’d like nothing more than to just get back to work and move on with my life, but make no mistakes I will always continue to fight for the justice, equality, and betterment of marginalized people everywhere.”

Smollett thanked his family, friends, and fans for their prayers and support after his arrest last month.

“I want you to know that not for a moment was it in vain, I have been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one. I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I’ve been accused of. This has been an incredibly difficult time, honestly one of the worst of my entire life, but I am a man of a faith and I am a man that has knowledge of my history and I would not bring my family, our lives, or the movement through a fire like this. I just wouldn’t,” he said.

He also thanked prosecutors for “attempting to do what’s right.”

“I am a man of faith, I am a man who has knowledge of my history and I would not bring my family, our lives, or the movement through a fire like this,” he said.

Cook County prosecutors agreed to drop the charges against Smollett at an unscheduled hearing in the case Tuesday morning. Smollett will forfeit the $10,000 bail he posted after his arrest.

Smollett’s attorney, Patricia Brown Holmes, said there was no agreement with prosecutors, insisting the state’s attorney’s office dropped the charges on their own.

“We believe that it was the correct result in this case. We’re very happy for this result, and we are very anxious for Jussie to get on with his career and his life, and to move forward,” Holmes said. “There is no deal. The state dismissed the charges.”

Holmes said Smollett volunteered to forfeit his $10,000 bail in the case.

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office issued a statement after the hearing:

“After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollett’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,” the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office stated in an email.

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx had recused herself from the case, so First Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats, a 28-year veteran prosecutor, had been the lead prosecutor on the case.

“We stand by the Chicago Police Department’s investigation, and our approval of charges,” spokeswoman Tandra Simonton stated in an email.

Meantime, Holmes chided the Chicago Police Department for holding a press conference to announce the charges against Smollett in February, accusing him of staging a fake hate crime against himself because he was upset with his salary on “Empire.” Police Supt. Eddie Johnson accused Smollett of exploiting the pain of racism to promote his career, calling the alleged attack “a scar that Chicago didn’t earn, and certainly didn’t deserve.”

“We have nothing to say to the police department, except to investigate charges and not try their cases in the press, but to allow matters to be investigated, allow the state to investigate and to bring charges, and not to jump ahead and utilize the press to convict people before they are tried in a court of law,” Holmes said.

Sources tell CBS 2 that Johnson is furious and that he received no notification about the charges being dropped. CBS 2 is told that he will speak after the police graduation taking place.

Police sources said the department spent up to six figures in overtime investigating the Smollett case, and police believe there was a solid case against the actor for allegedly orchestrating a racist and homophobic attack against himself, and lying to investigators about it.