Close  

Prosecutor defends dropping charges against Jussie Smollett

/ 11:41 AM April 07, 2019

CHICAGO — The Chicago prosecutor whose office dismissed charged against Jussie Smollett defended the decision on Saturday, saying the “Empire” actor was treated no differently than thousands of other defendants whose charges were similarly dropped since she took office.

Jussie Smollett

In this March 26, 2019, file photo, actor Jussie Smollett smiles and waves to supporters before leaving Cook County Court after his charges were dropped in Chicago. Image: AP/Paul Beaty

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx made the comments during a defiant and emotional address at the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.’s Rainbow Push Coalition. Foxx openly wondered if her race had something to do with the harsh criticism she’s faced since her office announced that charges against Smollett had been dropped. The actor was accused of staging what he claimed to be a racist and homophobic attack in January.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I have been asking myself for the last two weeks what is this really about,” she said. “As someone who has lived in this city, who came up in the projects of this city to serve as the first African American woman in this role, it is disheartening to me … that when we get in these positions somehow the goalposts change.”

Foxx, who recused herself from the case after communicating with a Smollett relative during the probe, reiterated that she welcomes of an independent investigation into the way she and her office handled the case. She also reminded the audience that her office did the same thing for the nearly 6,000 low-level defendants who had their charges dropped with “deferred prosecution” during her tenure.

FEATURED STORIES

Further, she said that under the law, Smollett could be fined a maximum of $10,000 and that the actor did pay that amount because his $10,000 bond was forfeited.

But Foxx did not address specifics of the case, or the criticism leveled by legal experts and others who said it was highly unusual not to require an admission of guilt by Smollett, particularly since at the time they dropped charges, prosecutors said they believed they could have proven the charges against the actor.

“In my 48 years of practice, I certainly have never seen a deferred prosecution done like that,” Richard Kling, an IIT-Kent Law School professor told the Chicago Sun-Times last week.

Foxx also responded to the calls by various critics to resign, saying that she will complete her term that ends next year and has plans to run for re-election. NVG

RELATED STORIES:

Chicago to sue Jussie Smollett for costs of investigation

Prosecutors group blasts Smollett case handling

ADVERTISEMENT

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: African American, Chicago, false report, Jussie Smollett, Prosecutor
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.