Prosecutors Drop Charges Against Jussie Smollett, Draw Backlash

Written by on April 11, 2019

Fourth Estate Staff

Chicago, IL, United States (4E) – All charges against Jussie Smollett has been dropped by prosecutors. The ‘Empire’ actor was accused of faking a police report when he claimed to have been a victim of a racist and homophobic attack in Chicago in January.

Although no detailed explanation for abandoning the case was revealed, Joe Magats, first assistant state attorney in Cook County, Illinois, clarified that the actor is not being exonerated nor does the decision to drop the charges mean that he is innocent.

“We believe he did what he was charged with doing,” Magats told WLS. “This was not an exoneration. To say he was exonerated by us or anyone else is not true.”

He added that there are thousands of other cases that should be prioritized and that’s Smollett’s case is just being highly scrutinized because of his celebrity status.

“We work to prioritize violent crime and the drivers of violent crime,” he said. “I don’t see Jussie Smollett as a threat to public safety.”

Magats said that they considered “all the facts and circumstances of the case”, together with Smollett’s community service performance and forfeiture of his $10,000 bond, in coming up with the resolution.

The dismissal, which took place just five weeks after the charges were filed against Smollett, drew immediate backlash. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel called it a “whitewash of justice” and called out the actor for dragging the city and its officers’ reputation “through the mud” for his own personal agenda, AP reported.

As a result of the charges being dropped, Smollett’s record has been “wiped clean” of all 16 felony counts filed against him in relation to making a false report.

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