“New documents on the Jussie Smollett case released Thursday show that prosecutors told Chicago police detectives that a possible deal with the ‘Empire’ actor was in the works a month before charges against him were dropped,” the AP reports. “The approximately 460 pages of new documents show detectives investigating Smollett’s claim he was the victim of a hate crime were told by Cook County prosecutors a deal with Smollett could include a $10,000 fine and community service. The detectives did not pass the information to superiors.”
The report quotes Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi saying: “They didn’t pass it on because they didn’t know it [the case] was going to be handled the way it was.”
The AP adds: “Smollett was charged with 16 counts alleging he lied to police when reporting he’d been the victim of a racist, anti-gay attack in January. Police contend the black and openly gay actor staged the attack because he was unhappy with his salary and wanted publicity. Prosecutors dropped charges on March 26 without Smollett admitting guilt.”
The documents unveiled this week indicate that the Cook County State Attorney’s Office told the Chicago PD on Feb. 28 that it could no longer investigate the crime.
“Smollett was indicted on March 7,” the AP reports. “The lead investigators in the case met with Assistant State’s Attorney Risa Lanier, who informed detectives ‘that she felt the case would be settled with Smollett paying the city of Chicago $10,000 in restitution and doing community service.’
“The detectives closed the case at that point because an arrest was made and the alleged offender was being prosecuted, according to Guglielmi.”