Jussie Smollett charges dropped
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Jussie Smollett used the law for his own benefit, and it hurts future victims of hate crimes.
"He used the laws of the hate crime association that all of us through the years have put on the books to stand up to be the values that embody what we believe in," Emanuel said. "This is a whitewash of justice. A grand jury could not have been clearer."
He also compared the case to the recent college admissions scam, in which the Department of Justice accused wealthy families of bribing college coaches and admissions officials to get their children into schools.
"You cannot have, because of a person's position, one set of rules apply to them and another set of rules apply to everybody else," Mayor Emmanuel said. "In another way, you're seeing this play out in universities where people pay extra to get their kids a special position in universities. Now you have a person, because of their position and background who is getting treated in a way that nobody else would ever..."
Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson expressed his disappointment over today's dropped charges in the Jussie Smollett case.
"Do I think justice was served? No. What do I think justice is? I think this city is still owed an apology," he said.
Johnson, who's been an officer for 31 years, suggested Smollett's attorneys brokered a deal.
"I've heard that they wanted their day in court with TV cameras so America could know the truth and know they tried to hide behind secrecy to broker a deal to circumvent the judicial system," he said.
Johnson said he stands behind his department's investigation.
Fox and 20th Century Fox Television are "gratified" that the case against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett was dropped, a spokesperson said in a statement.
“Jussie Smollett has always maintained his innocence and we are gratified that all charges against him have been dismissed,” spokesperson Chris Alexander said in the statement.
The studio and network produce the series “Empire,” the television drama on which Smollett has appeared since 2015.
Jussie Smollett's attorney Patricia Brown Holmes, speaking to reporters today, said records in her client's court case have been sealed.
She did not provide details about the order, only saying that the state dropped charges against Smollett and moved to "seal the record in this case."
"I have no idea what occurred in this case and why it occurred. I can just say things seemed to spiral somewhat out of control. We've gotten to a result that is the right result in this case and we're happy for that," Holmes said.
Actor Jussie Smollett talked to fans and took selfies with them as he waited outside the courthouse after charges against him were dropped.
Reporters and cameras swarmed the "Empire" actor as he waited for a vehicle. Smollett ignored questions shouted at him.
One woman shouted, "How you feel Jussie? You feel good? You look good! You look good!"
At a post hearing press conference, Patricia Holmes, attorney for Jussie Smollett, says the state made a legal decision to seal the records and drop the charges.
She clarified it is “not part of a deferred prosecution” and there “is no deal.”
Holmes urged the Chicago Police “not to jump ahead and utilize the press to convict people before they are tried in a court of law.”
Jussie Smollett spoke following the announcement that the charges against him have been dropped.
"I have been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one," he said. "I would not be my mother's son if I was capable of one drop of what I've been accused of."
Smollett called himself a "man of faith" and said he wanted to move on with his life.
"I want to thank my family, my friends, the incredible people of Chicago and all over the country and the world who have prayed for me, who have supported me."