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The initial alleged Jussie Smollett attack occurred in January. In the report made by Smollett to Chicago Police, he stated that he was brutally attacked by two unidentified men downtown around 2 in the morning. The who beat him, tied a rope around his neck while dumping some type of substance on him and shouting various racial and homophobic slurs, including that he was in “MAGA country”, referring to the incident as a racial and homophobic hate crime.
All of which is highly ironic in itself seeing as two brothers who allegedly assaulted the actor are black men themselves and originally from Nigeria. So it’s a little odd that they would not only use a plethora of racial slurs during the attack but additionally make reference to Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again”, particularly when they were not born in the U.S. and many have deemed the slogan as being prejudice and racist.
Upon detectives not receiving all of phone records requested of Smollett for their investigation, interviewing the two brothers and obtaining new evidence, the actors’ refusal to respond to police requests for a follow-up interview on the case, along with additional evidence, it was subsequently determined that the attack was, in fact, orchestrated by Jussie Smollet in a desperate attempt to enhance his career through receiving such publicity, as well as the hopes of his salary being increased for his role in the Fox hit series, “Empire” because he felt he deserved more.
After being indicted by a grand jury on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for staging a vicious hate crime, who made their initial decision upon only reviewing a single piece of evidence in the case, Jessie Smollett managed to somehow evade all charges.
In an utterly shocking turn of events, after a heated month-long investigation and just five weeks after filing the charges, the Cook County prosecutors’ office, without warning, suddenly dropped all charges against Smollett on Tuesday. Prosecutors did not even warn the Chicago Mayor or Chicago Police Department prior to this decision neither did they provide any specific justifiable cause for the dismissal.
To further add to this already disconcerting news, AP reported that prosecutors’ in the case have repeatedly said that this is not an exoneration. All reports say that the State’s Attorney’s office stands by their initial conclusions that the attack was staged by Smollett, however, after reviewing the various facts and circumstances of the investigation they felt the dismissal was an appropriate resolution.
It is not clear why no conditions were not leveraged in the dismissal. Smollett was not ordered to admit any fault in the crime or execute any form of public apology and the court agreed to wipe his record clean by immediately sealing all records in the case.
You know something is amiss when outrage ensues from the Chicago Mayor and Chicago Police Department in direct disagreement with prosecutors. Chicago’s Mayor, Rahm Emanuel, announced that the Smollett case is a blatant example of justice not being served.
Sentiments from social media suggest that the action is an outright abuse of the laws and justice system, and this dismissal conveys that celebrities and people with money and power are treated differently with the ability to maneuver their way around the system and get away scot-free, particularly with their many and very recent cover-ups of major crimes.
AP News also reported the following statement made by Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson at a graduation ceremony for new police cadets.
I’ve heard that they wanted their day in court with TV cameras so that America could know the truth. They chose to hide behind secrecy and broker a deal to circumvent the judicial system.
The above statement might be arguably seen as highly fitting especially in light of new information that has surfaced surrounding the case.
The original lead prosecutor on the case, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, recused herself from the investigation in late February due to possible questions of bias being raised. Such questions were based on familiarity with potential witnesses in the case and having recent contact with Smollett’s family. This is what led First Assistant State’s Attorney Joe Magat to take over the case.
Foxx, who was former aide to Michelle Obama, may have had a part to play in the dismissal.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times and ABC News, text conversations surfaced of various interactions between Foxx and Smollett’s family members. It is believed that influential supporter of the actor, Michelle Obama’s assistant, Tina Tchen, was involved in persuading Fox’s office to dismiss Smullett’s charges.
The Sun-Times reported that Tchen initially reached out to Foxx, telling her that a family member had concerns about the investigation and leaked information. Then just days after the initial report of the attack, the relative texted Foxx urging that she facilitate the investigation to be turned over to the FBI instead.
Foxx granted the relative’s request, even keeping her updated on the status after asking police superintendent to make this change happen, stating that she had convinced him to ask the FBI to take over and that she would have an answer for the relative shortly.
The relative was elated and considered this a major victory. It wasn’t until almost weeks later that Foxx recused herself from the investigation and no further records were obtained.
Is this merely just a coincidence or part of a much larger cover-up at play?
If it is, in fact, a cover-up, Smullett appears to have won at this point. But why go to such extreme lengths to save a celebrity who was simply looking for a bigger payday by planning and enacting an elaborate brutal attack that could have negatively impacted many people’s lives?
Written by Megan Kuehl
AP News: Prosecutors dismiss charges against Smollett, draw backlash
ABC News: Jussie Smollett update: Charges against ‘Empire’ actor dropped; ‘not an exoneration,’ prosecutor says
ABC News: Jussie Smollett update: Texts shed light on why State’s Attorney Kim Foxx recused herself
Chicago Sun-Times: Records: Former Michelle Obama aide, Smollett relative reached out to Kim Foxx
CNN: Taraji P. Henson and more react to Jussie Smollett case being dropped
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Dominick D’s Wikimedia Commons Page – Creative Commons License