All charges against Empire actor Jussie Smollet dropped

Jussie Smollett InstagramThe Jussie Smollett case took another surprising twist as all charges were dropped against him on Tuesday. Smollett — who was facing 16 felony charges after being arrested last month — had been accused of staging a hate crime to further his career after reportedly being unhappy with his salary for the hit show Empire.

The reversal of the case comes just 18 days after a grand jury indicted Smollett on felony disorderly conduct, inciting outrage from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, calling the decision to drop the charges a “whitewash of justice.” Emanuel and police superintendent Eddie Johnson still believe the matter to be a complete hoax.

Few details were released about why the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office dropped the 16 felony disorderly conduct charges against the actor.

A statement released by the State’s Attorney’s Office reads, “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.”

Smollett gave up $10,000 in bond money and volunteered a total of 16 hours for the Rainbow Push Coalition, founded by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, this past Sunday and Monday. However, a spokesman for the group could not say whether the service was related to this case.

Interestingly enough, parts of his case will be sealed to the public, which could further cast doubt and suspicion around the circumstances of the case and its outcome.

First Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats, the lead prosecutor, defended the decision, stating “There were 5,700 other cases with similar results, but this one stood out in the media because of the defendant’s celebrity.” He went on to say that the charges would not have been dropped without the bond forfeiture and the community service factor, while adding that because Smollett had no prior felonies he wasn’t considered a danger to the community.

Despite the drop in charges, prosecutor Joe Magats still believes the Empire actor lied to police about the attack in January. He made it clear that even though all charges were dropped, this action in no way exonerates or proves Smollett’s innocence.

Chicago Police allege that Smollett had hired two acquaintances, brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, to stage a hate crime back in January. The two men were later arrested following surveillance tape footage of the two men near the site of the alleged attack.

Throughout this entire case and the twists it took, Smollett has maintained his innocence. After the charges were dropped, Smollett spoke to reporters on Tuesday morning, thanking everyone who stood by him, and stating that he wouldn’t have put his family “through a fire like this” for a lie.

“I have been truthful and consistent on every single level since Day One,” Smollett said. “I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I’ve been accused of.” ~Paolo Maquiraya

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Comments & Discussion

  1. Shay • March 27, 2019 @ 3:12 PM

    Who cares that the prosecutor says he still believes Jussie is guilty. That’s worth nothing. The Manitowoc County corrupt police still think Steven Avery is guilty of rape (for which he served 18 years), even though someone else confessed to it and that guy’s DNA was found on the victim’s clothing. DNA evidence exonerated him, but the Manitowoc County STILL INSIST HE’S GUILTY. Stupidity abounds within the U.S. legal system.

  2. Linda • March 27, 2019 @ 4:59 PM

    Jussie Smollett is innocent until proven guilty – A Grand jury will indict a ham sandwich. It means nothing that the lead prosecutor has the belief that he lied – its subjective. It is beyond me why the media and people in power would try to begrudge this individual of leading a normal life since he is innocent!

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