This is a developing story, but as of right now, it is being reported by multiple outlets that Jussie Smollett, who was up for 16 different felony charges for allegedly reporting a false assault to police, has now had all charges against him dropped by the Chicago Police Department.
BREAKING: Attorneys for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett say charges alleging he lied to police about attack have been dropped.
— The Associated Press (@AP) March 26, 2019
According to The Chicago Tribune, the Cook County prosecutors have dropped all charges against Smollett on disorderly conduct for allegedly staging a phony attack and claiming he was the victim of a hate crime.
One of the prosecutors said, “We believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case.” Judge Steven Watkins allowed the dismissal, and attorneys for Smollett issued the following statement:
“Today, all criminal charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and his record has been wiped clean of the filing of this tragic complaint against him. Jussie was attacked by two people he was unable to identify on January 29th. He was a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator as a result of false and inappropriate remarks made to the public causing an inappropriate rush to judgment. Jussie and many others were hurt by these unfair and unwarranted actions. This entire situation is a reminder that there should never be an attempt to prove a case in the court of public opinion. That is wrong. It is a reminder that a victim, in this case Jussie, deserves dignity and respect. Dismissal of charges against the victim in this case was the only just result Jussie is relieved to have this situation behind him and is very much looking forward to getting back to focusing on his family, friends and career.”
In addition to not being charged, his record has been cleared, and the records from the case were sealed. This comes after the men involved in the attack confirmed the check Smollett gave them was for personal training, and the FBI conflicted with the Chicago PD after the CPD said that Smollett sent a threatening letter to himself. The FBI says that wasn’t confirmed and was being overstated by the police.
As I mentioned in my previous piece summing up my emotional feelings about the case, it’s important to listen to Black queer men/male-presenting people right now, and while I’ve expressed my support and hope that Smollett would be found to be truthful, I’m not going to put my emotional energy out at the moment because I need it for me.
Instead, I think that one song sums up my feelings about the CPD’s handling of this entire situation.
This incident has proven, once again, how corrupt and poorly managed the CPD is and why so many people, even those who had doubts about Smollett’s story, still didn’t trust what the CPD was saying. Also, anyone who thinks he didn’t get prosecuted because of his “community service” should probably talk to Black Panthers or MLK.
(via The Chicago Tribune, image: Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images)
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