“Chicago police and City Hall slammed prosecutors and Jussie Smollett on Tuesday after all charges were dropped against the ‘Empire’ actor,” NBC News reports.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is quoted saying: “From top to bottom this is not on the level. At the end of the day, it’s Mr. Smollett that committed this false claim.”
He added: “This is a whitewash of justice.”
The city’s police department also responded angrily to the surprise news that all charges had been dropped against Smollett just weeks after his indictment on 16 felony counts in connection with his alleged filing of a false police report.
“Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said the department was blindsided by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office’s decision to no longer press a case against Smollett for allegedly faking a hate-crime attack,” NBC News reports. “While Johnson and Emanuel said they were mad at prosecutors, their harshest words were aimed at Smollett.”
Emanuel is quoted saying: “Is there no decency in this man?”
“Emanuel recalled his time in the Obama White House, where he worked as chief of staff, and efforts to pass the anti-hate crime Matthew Shepard Act, named in honor of the gay man beaten to death in Wyoming,” the report adds.
Said Emanuel: “You have a person using hate crime laws that are on the books to protect people who are minorities from violence, to then turn around and use those laws to advance your career and your financial reward?”
Johnson is quoted in media reports saying: “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 also said: “Do I think justice was served? No. I think this city is still owed an apology.”
Following news that the charges against him had been dropped, Smollett briefly addressed reporters today outside the Cook County Courthouse in Chicago. The following clip, posted by CNN, opens with Smollett’s comments and continues with CNN coverage of today’s developments in the Smollett case.