Police slam decision to drop charges against Jussie Smollett
Chicago prosecutors have dropped all charges against Empire actor Jussie Smollett, outraging police.
He had previously been charged with 16 felony counts for allegedly staging what he described as a racist and homophobic attack.
Mr Smollett told police he’d been attacked by two men who shouted racist and anti-gay slurs before they beat him, poured bleach on him and put a rope around his neck.
Police said he paid the men to orchestrate the attack because he was unhappy with his pay and wanted to promote his career.
The prosecution’s office did not go into detail about why the charges were dropped, but said they made the decision after considering his past community service.
“After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr Smollett’s volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his [US$10,000] bond to the City of Chicago, we believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case.”
There’s been a furious response from police who investigated the case, as well as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
He called the dismissal “a whitewash of justice”.
Mr Smollett has always maintained his innocence and his attorneys are treating the case as an exoneration, which the prosecution denies.
Image: Chicago Police