Chicago Police & Mayor Slam Decision to Drop Jussie Smollett Charges (VIDEO)
All charges against actor Jussie Smollett have been dropped after his court appearance on Tuesday, March 26.
The Empire star was facing 16 felony charges after allegedly faking a racially charged attack. According to TMZ, Smollett surrendered his $10,000 bond, but will not face any further punishment at this time.
The State Attorney Kim Foxx supposedly told the Chicago police that she was dropping the case because Smollett would likely only face community service if he were to be convicted.
A statement released by Smollett's lawyers reads, "Today, all criminal charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and his record has been wiped clean of the filing of this tragic complaint against him. Jussie was attacked by 2 people he was unable to identify on January 29th. He was a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator as a result of false and inappropriate remarks made to the public, causing an inappropriate rush to judgment."
"Jussie and many others were hurt by these unfair and unwarranted actions. This entire situation is a reminder that there should never be an attempt to prove a case in the court of public opinion. That is wrong. It is a reminder that a victim, in this case Jussie, deserves dignity and respect. Dismissal of charges against the victim in this case was the only just result."
Following his appearance, Smollett spoke to those outside the court in an emotional statement that was captured on video. It's one of the first times that the public has heard the actor speak directly since the charges were initially made against him.
— Kevin Frazier (@KevinFrazier) March 26, 2019
"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, have supported me, who showed me so much love," the actor began. "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," he continued. "But 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 or the movement through a fire like this. I just wouldn't."
"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. I would like nothing more than to get back to work and move on with my life, but make no mistake, I will always continue to fight for the justice, equality and betterment of marginalized people everywhere."
Following Smollett's news, 20th Century Fox TV and Fox Entertainment released a statement saying, "Jussie Smollett has always maintained his innocence and we are gratified that all charges against him have been dismissed."
Meanwhile, Chicago law enforcement and Mayor Rahm Emanuel have spoken out on the matter. During a press conference, Emanuel called Smollett's punishment a "whitewash of justice," as he described the resources that were used on a case that he and the police believes is still false.
— ABC News (@ABC) March 26, 2019
This story is developing.