The decision by Chicago prosecutors to drop charges against Jussie Smollett isn’t sitting well with the city’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday afternoon, Emanuel lambasted the Cook County’s State’s Attorney’s office, characterizing their actions as “a whitewash of justice,”
“He took those laws and turned them inside out and upside down,” Emanuel said of Smollett. Throughout his remarks, Emanuel repeatedly pointed out that a grand jury had reviewed the evidence and decided to indict Smollett. “A grand jury could not have been clearer,” he said.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson expressed similar sentiments. “If someone accused me of doing anything, I would want my day in court to clear my name,” Johnson told reporters. “I’ve heard that they wanted their day in court with TV cameras so America could know the truth, but now they chose to hide behind secrecy and broker a deal to circumvent the judicial system…I stand behind the detective’s investigation.”
“Do I think justice was served?,” asked Johnson. “No. And I think this city is still owed an apology.”
In March, Smollett was indicted on 16 counts of disorderly conduct relating to allegations that he lied to police about being the victim of a hate crime. In a stunning about-face, earlier today prosecutors agreed to drop all charges against Smollett in exchange for community service and the forfeiture of his $10,000 bond. “We believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case,” the Cook County’s State’s Attorney’s office said in a statement.
Watch video of Emanuel’s and Johnson’s remarks below.