Empire Cast Member Attack, Chicago, USA - 26 Mar 2019
Credit: Paul Beaty/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Chicago police and Mayor Rahm Emanuel are slamming the Cook County State’s Attorney decision to drop the charges against Jussie Smollett.

In a Tuesday afternoon press conference, Emanuel and Chicago PD Superintendent Eddie Johnson defended their case, with the mayor declaring, “This is a whitewash of justice.” He added, “It’s just wrong…. Does he have no decency?”

Johnson, who has been outspoken throughout the case, continued to insist that the Empire star is guilty of orchestrating the attack against himself. “Smollett committed this hoax,” he said. “Do I think justice was served? No. I think this city is still owed an apology.”

He continued, “If someone accused me of doing anything that would circumvent that, then I would want my day in court. Period. I’ve heard that they [Smollett’s lawyers] wanted their day in court with TV cameras so America could know the truth. But no, they chose to hide behind secrecy and broker a deal to circumvent the judicial system. My job as a police officer is to investigate an incident, gather evidence, gather the facts and present them to the State’s Attorney. That’s what we did. I stand behind the detective’s investigation.”

Chicago PD spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi tweeted his own response to the news, citing Smollett’s agreement to forego his $10,000 bond being returned to him.

Earlier in the day, the Cook County State’s Attorney office said, “After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollett’s volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his bond to the city of Chicago, we believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution.”

Outside of the courtroom, Smollett made his own brief statement: “No one will ever know how much that has meant to me, and I will forever be grateful. I want you to know that not for a moment was it in vain. I have been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one. I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I have been accused of. This has been an incredibly difficult time, honestly, one of the worst of my entire life. I am a man of faith and I am a man that has knowledge of my history, and I would not bring my family, our lives, our movement through a fire like this. I just wouldn’t.

So I want to thank my legal counsel from the bottom of my heart, and I would also like to thank the state of Illinois for attempting to do what’s right. Now, I would like nothing more than to just get back to work and move on with my life. But make no mistake, I will continue to fight for the justice and equality for marginalized people everywhere. So, again, thank you for all of the support, thank you for faith, and thank you to God.”

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