According to recent documents, charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped weeks before the public knew. The Cook County State’s Attorney’s prosecutors specifically told the Chicago Police to end any and all criminal investigations into Smollett’s hate crime hoax according to the newly released documents. In the new documents, prosecutors also told Chicago that there was a possible deal with the Empire actor in the works.
On Thursday, more than 400 pages, arrest files, and supplementary files were made public after a ruling by Judge Steven Watkins, a Cook County Judge. In the redacted reports there were notes detailing that on February 28, two detectives could not continue investigating the crime.
That was just one week after Smollet had turned himself into Chicago authorities.
Mark Geragos, Smollett’s attorney, declined to comment on the recent documents released.
Anthony Guglielmi, the Chicago Police Spokesman, released the following statement:
“Detectives were not aware that the case was going to be handled in the manner it was. If you go on to read the report, the detective writes that the case will be closed through the arrest and prosecution.”
Guglielmi is referring to a section of the recently released report that shows detectives were led to believe Cook County prosecutors were working on a deal with Smollett that could have included a $10,000 fine and community service.
The detectives then failed to share this information with others — including their superiors.
“They didn’t pass it on because they didn’t know it (the case) was going to be handled the way it was,” stated Guglielmi.
According to NBC news, then Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the police Superintendent Eddie Johnson released the following statement expressing outrage over the lack of transparency and the prosecutor’s verdict.
In the documents released Thursday, detectives note the Chicago Police Department was informed by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office on Feb. 28 that they could no longer investigate the crime. Smollett was indicted on March 7. The lead investigators in the case met with Assistant State’s Attorney Risa Lanier, who informed detectives “that she felt the case would be settled with Smollett paying the city of Chicago $10,000 in restitution and doing community service.”
Smollett claim that he was attacked by two men in Chicago with a bat, bleach, and a host of racial/pro-Trump slurs in January. Smollett exaggerated the story and claimed the two men tried to tie a rope around his neck while shouting, “This is MAGA Country.”
In March the “Empire” star’s case was dropped with no explanation as to why he would not be charged with 16 counts. Days later Kim Foxx, the Cook County state’s attorney recused herself from the case, but text messages released from her office proved she was still weighing in on the case. She told staffers Smollett was being “treated unfairly and harshly.”
The lack of transparency and confusion as to why Smollett’s charges were dropped out of thin air drew national attention. The attention grew when Foxx was asked to testify in open court, but has not agreed to. The likelihood of her testifying in open court is low.
The hate crime hoax was cooked up by Smollett because he was not happy with his professional acting career. The stunt was supposed to provide him with a name recognition boost and raise his Hollywood profile.
Marissa Martinez is a political contributor for Accuracy in Media. She is the former political director to Massachusetts Governor’s re-election campaign, alumna of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and political consultant to PACs. Follow her AIM border stories, @MarissaAlisa