No Justice For Jussie
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel stood shoulder-to-shoulder with his city’s police force Tuesday afternoon, denouncing prosecutors for dropping charges against “Empire” star Jussie Smollett and slamming the episode as a “whitewash of justice.”
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Emanuel said they were not only furious with the outcome of Tuesday’s surprise hearing but also blindsided by the decision itself, with the officials only learning Smollett wouldn’t face charges for allegedly faking a hate crime at the same time the public found out.
“Where is the accountability in the system? You cannot have – because of a person’s position – one set of rules applies to them and another set of rules apply to everyone else,” 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.”
He added: “[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.”
The judge in the case sealed the records, so as Mayor Emanuel says, we will never know why this happened. The Chicago Sun-Times quoted the state’s attorney in charge of the case:
First Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats said the decision to drop the charges should not be interpreted that Smollett did not do what police and prosecutors have alleged — pay his assailants to fake the attack and then falsely report the incident to police.
Nor did dropping the charges mean that Smollett was a victim of a crime, Magats said emphatically.
“Absolutely not. We stand behind the CPD investigation done in this case, we stand behind the approval of charges in this case,” Magats told the Sun-Times. “They did a fantastic job. The fact there was an alternative disposition in this case is not and should not be viewed as some kind of admission there was something wrong with the case, or something wrong with the investigation that the Chicago Police did.”
Magats, who became the final decision maker on the case after Foxx recused herself in mid-February, said prosecutors made the decision to drop the charges against Smollett under the same criteria they would any other defendant.
“It’s a nonviolent crime. He has no felony criminal background. If you start looking at the disposition in the case, in every case you need to look at the facts and circumstances of the case, and the defendant’s background.”
Magats noted that while there was no court-ordered community service, Smollett had been active in the community even after he was charged. Sealing records as part of deferred prosecution is common, Magats said.
The Sun-Times goes on to quote defense attorneys saying this is extremely unusual for a case of this magnitude. And, again, because the judge granted the state’s request to seal the case, we will never know all the things that the police knew.
Jussie Smollett got away with lying and creating racist hysteria. He flat-out did. All the work of those police officers was for nothing, because somebody in the State’s Attorney office loves Jussie Smollett more than they love justice.
Good news for future hate-crime hoaxers!
UPDATE: Of course. Of course!:
Jussie Smollett logged a total of 18 hours of community service over 2 days — with Jesse Jackson’s organization, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition — and that was enough to satisfy prosecutors in Chicago.
Honchos at Rainbow PUSH — a civil and human rights organization — tell us, Jussie volunteered for the first time Saturday, putting in 8 hours from 10 AM to 6 PM. He just completed another 10 hours on Monday.
We’re told Jussie’s “service” included stuffing membership envelopes, working in the group’s bookstore to sell merchandise … and critiquing its Saturday broadcast. We’re told he helped them with camera angles, and also worked with the music director on a plan to build the choir.
He may be old and in decline, but Rev. Jesse still knows how to deliver. Remember when?