CPD Release Jussie Smollett Investigative Files

Steve Miller
March 27, 2019 - 10:34 am
Actor Jussie Smollett talks to the media before leaving Cook County Court after his charges were dropped, Tuesday, March 26, 2019, in Chicago.

AP Photo/Paul Beaty

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Many questions still remained unanswered one day after charges were dropped in the Jussie Smollett case. 

Prosecutors still insist Jussie Smollett faked a racist and homophobic attack on himself in the hopes that the attention would advance his acting career. The "Empire" star still says he was assaulted by two men late at night in downtown Chicago.

The development has lead some people angered, while others are left confused.

All 16 counts of disorderly conduct against Smollett were dropped and his record was "wiped clean" Tuesday in exchange for community service and forfeiture of his $10,000 bond payment. 

WBBM Newsradio requested and obtained two of the redacted Chicago Police Department's investigative files from the Jussie Smollett criminal investigation.

The documents were provided by the Chicago Police Department in response to a Freedom of Information Act request that WBBM Newsradio's Steve Miller submitted following the announcement of the charges being dropped against Jussie Smollett and the case being sealed. 

WBBM Newsradio's requests for video, including bodycam, surveillance, and interrogation, was denied.

"First of all, 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 and have shown me so much love..." Smollett said after his court hearing.

"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 was accused of...I am a man of faith and a man who has knowledge of my history, and I would not bring my family, our lives, or the movement through a fire like this.

"I would also like to thank the State of Illinois for attempting to do what is right. Now I would like nothing more than to just get back to work and move on with my life; but make no mistakes, I will always continue to fight for the justice, equality, and betterment of marginalized people everywhere," he said.

Without knowing about the development ahead of time, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Mayor Rahm Emanuel angrily reacted to the news on Tuesday. 

"Do I think justice was served? No. Where do I think justice is? I think this city is still owed an apology," Johnson said. 

"The apology comes from the person that did this. If you want to say you are innocent of a situation, then you take your day in court. I would never, if someone falsely accused me, I would never hide behind a brokered deal and secrecy, period," he continued. 

Emanuel called it a "whitewash of justice." 

"Mr. Smollett is still saying that he is innocent, still running down the Chicago Police Department - how dare him? How dare him? After everybody saw, and I want to remind you this is not the Superintendent's word against his, the grand jury - a sliver of the evidence and they came to a conclusion. As did the State's Attorney's office...And even after this whitewash, still no sense of ownership of what he has done...is there no decency in this man?" Emanuel said. 

Emanuel spoke again Wednesday morning to ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos on "Good Morning America" about the dropped charges in the Jussie Smollett case. 

"You have the State's Attorney's Office saying he is not exonerated. He actually did commit this hoax. He's saying he is innocent...They better get their story straight. This is actually making a fool of all of us," Emanuel said. 

Emanuel said he wants to get to the bottom of the decision. He wants to know how prosecutors decided to dismiss the case after Smollett agreed to forfeit the $10,000 bond he put up and complete "two days" of community service at Operation PUSH.

"How did they make a decision to drop all these charges when he literally is taking the hate crime laws on the books that reflect our values and inverting them to actually self-promote yourself for your own personal enrichment? And then all of a sudden, with nobody's consultation, no discussion of what it would mean, what message it would send, what does it say about the law - you drop it?

"Did he commit this hoax? That is the first question that has to be answered. The second question is, what happened here that allowed the State's Attorney's office, that was in the room with the police department when they actually decided to bring the charges to the grand jury that brought the indictments - what made them all of a sudden say, you know what on second thought, this is enough?" Emanuel said.

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office said Smollett agreed to do community service and forfeit his $10,000 bond to the city of Chicago. Some 5,700 cases have been referred to these kinds of alternative prosecutions over the past two years, the 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 to this case," the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office said, in a statement.

First Assistant State's Attorney Joe Magats, who handled the case, disagreed with the mayor.

"I can't comment as to what he thinks or what he knows," Magats told WBBM Newsradio in one of several interviews he gave Tuesday. "It was not a whitewash of justice. We looked at this case as we would other cases, other disorderly conduct cases, other cases where people have made false police reports to the Chicago Police Department and went from there. To handle it differently, or to not look at it in this vein, would have been to handle it differently than we do in other cases." 

Magats insisted justice had been served: "Yes, based on all the facts and circumstances, this was the right outcome on the case. I certainly get other people feeling differently, I certainly understand that other people disagree. In the end, this was the right result."

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.