Can you imagine the pride you’d have with a police force that can execute an extraordinary job of investigative work, only to feel the shock and anger after their efforts come crashing down in just 5 minutes?
That’s how Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson felt.
As reported by the Chicago Sun Times:
Prosecutors on Tuesday dropped charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett that accused him of staging a hate-crime attack against himself.
The actor was indicted March 8 with 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly hiring two men to attack him near his Streeterville home in January. The $10,000 posted for Smollett’s bond will be turned over to the City of Chicago Law Department.
The hearing lasted less than 5 minutes. Cook County Circuit Judge Steven G. Watkins sealed the case file.
Chicago police officials said Supt. Eddie Johnson was not briefed on the decision to drop charges and learned about it in the middle of a police academy graduation ceremony scheduled at the same time Foxx’s office announced it.
A police source said Johnson was “furious” and maintained the evidence against Smollett was “rock solid.”
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson on Jussie Smollett: «Do I think justice was served? No … I think this city is still owed an apology.»
«They chose to hide behind secrecy and broker a deal to circumvent the judicial system» pic.twitter.com/lnQSIXtzyN
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) 26 марта 2019 г.
Rock solid” is right. To have uncovered the scam, the perpetrators, and the purchases within such a short period of time is definitely the work of a top-notch team. To make things even worse, Johnson claims to not have known about the dropped charges until the story had already broken.
As reported by CNBC:
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told reporters Tuesday that police “found out about [the dismissal] when you all did.”
“Do I think justice was served? No. … They chose to hide behind secrecy in brokering a deal,” Johnson said.
His shock is understandable. So how could this have happened? One thing we do know is that the dropped charges don’t prove that Smollett is innocent.
As reported by the Chicago Sun Times:
First Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats said the decision to drop the charges was not a statement that Smollett did not, as police and prosecutors said when the actor was charged, pay his assailants to fake the attack and then falsely report the incident to police and detectives.
Asked if the dropped charges meant the actor was, in fact, the victim of a crime, Magats was emphatic.
“Absolutely not. We stand behind the CPD investigation done in this case, we stand behind the approval of charges in this case,” Magats told the Sun-Times. “They did a fantastic job. The fact there was an alternative disposition in this case is not and should not be viewed as some kind of admission there was something wrong with the case, or something wrong with the investigation that the Chicago Police did.”
So if the police force did an excellent job uncovering one of the biggest hoaxes of this decade, then why would Smollett just get to go free?
According to Magats, this is actually quite common with a nonviolent crime committed by an upstanding citizen.
“It’s a nonviolent crime. He has no felony criminal background. If you start looking at the disposition in the case, in every case you need to look at the facts and circumstances of the case, and the defendant’s background.”
Magats noted that while there was no court-ordered community service, Smollett had been active in the community even after he was charged. Sealing records as part of deferred prosecution is common, Magats said.
Even if there’s some truth to Magats statements, it still isn’t sitting well with Johnson.
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