New documents on the Jussie Smollett case revealed that prosecutors informed Chicago police detectives that a potential agreement with the “Empire” actor was in the works a month before charges against him were dismissed.
The 460 pages worth of new documents showed detectives investigating Smollett’s claim he was the victim of hate crime were told by Cook County prosecutors that a deal with Smollett could include a $10,000 penalty and community service. The detectives failed to pass on the information to their superiors.
“They didn’t pass it on because they didn’t know that the case was going to be handled the way it was,” said Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
Reportedly, Smollett was charged with 16 counts for allegedly lying when reporting that he’d been the victim of a racist, anti-gay assault in January. Police contend that the black and openly gay actor staged the attack because he was unhappy with his salary and wanted publicity. Prosecutors dismissed charges on March 26 without Smollett admitting guilt.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and police Superintendent Eddie Johnson showed outrage over the prosecutors’ decision.
It was the lawyers for Smollett who published that the charges alleging he lied to police about the January attack had been dismissed. Johnson stated that he discovered the agreement when the deal was announced by lawyers, adding that he didn’t think justice was being served. However, he didn’t directly criticize the prosecutors.
“My job as a police officer is to investigate an incident, gather evidence, gather the facts and present them to the state’s attorney,” Johnson said. “That’s what we did. I stand behind the detectives’ investigation.”
The Illinois Prosecutors Bar Association announced that the dismissal of the charges was “an affront to prosecutors across the state” as well as the police, victims of hate crimes, and the county as a whole.