Chicago Mayor & Police Chief Rip Jussie Smollett After Charges Against Actor Are Dropped

March 26, 2019

Jussie Smollett reiterated his innocence after prosecutors shockingly dropped all 16 charges against the Empire actor on Tuesday, but Chicago's mayor and police chief were nowhere near ready to forgive him for allegedly staging a hate crime in which Smollett claimed he was the victim. At a press conference Tuesday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel called the prosecutors' decision a "whitewash of justice [that> sends a clear message that if you are in a position of influence of power, you'll be treated one way." According to the AP, Emanuel added that the city of Chicago had been "dragged through the mud" by Smollett, while Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said the city is "still owed an apology" from the Empire actor. Smollett claims he was attacked near his home around 2 a.m. on January 29 by two men--at least one of whom was white--who shouted, "This is MAGA country," while police concluded that Smollett hired two African-American brothers he knew from the set of Empire, which is shot in Chicago, to carry out a phony assault. Meanwhile, Assistant State's Attorney Joe Magats told The New York Times that his office decided not to pursue the charges because it prioritized violent crime and Smollett--who agreed to forfeit his $10,000 bond and do community service--did not pose "a threat to public safety."