The highly unusual Jussie Smollett case took yet another strange turn this week when Cook County prosecutors dropped the case against him. The controversial move drew criticism from Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel called the turn of events a “whitewash of justice”.
Smollett and Cook County prosecutors came to an agreement that included Smollett surrendering his $10,000 bail and performing two days of community service. This deal has been declared by some, notably Chicago police and the mayor, as being a misapplication of justice. Smollett was facing 16 counts of various criminal conduct.
According to the prosecutors and investigators, Smollett staged an attack on himself in late January. The attack was described by Smollett at the time as being violent, homophobic and racist in nature. Authorities discovered that Smollett had actually paid his alleged attackers to stage the attack.
According to prosecutors, Smollett’s motivation in faking the crime was to draw sympathy and advance his career. It’s unclear what role the men who attacked him played in the planning of the event. Smollett was noticeably roughed-up on the 29th, and there was little doubt as to his version of events early on.
The State’s Attorney, Kim Foxx, appeared on a local radio station to discuss the controversy. “There are some people who were never going to be satisfied unless Mr. Smollett spent many nights in prison,” Foxx stated.
“Right now there’s a lot of emotion, and I wholeheartedly believe in our line of work we cannot be driven by emotion. We have to be driven by facts.” Foxx confirmed that the decision to dismiss Smollett’s charges was not her call, but was made by prosecutors underneath her.
Foxx recused herself from the case after revealing she’d had contact with Smollett’s lawyers in the early stages of the investigation. Further details about Foxx’s involvement have not been made public.