The Jussie Smollett story that just won’t quit has resurfaced yet again in a surprising turn of events Tuesday, March 26. All charges have been dropped by prosecutors; every single one of the 16 counts that Smollett had been indicted of just last month have been dismissed in return for his bond forfeit of $10,000 and serving roughly 18 hours of volunteer service to the community.
Prosecuting attorney Joe Magats made the decision and cited reasons for dismissing the charges, including Smollett’s lack of a previous criminal history. Though the city of Chicago and law enforcement are no longer seeking further retribution, Magats states that this in no means fully exonerates him.
The decision has Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and many more in the community and across the country, upset over the Empire celebrity getting off without major consequence. In a press conference, Emanuel stated that “this is a whitewash of justice,” and “at the end of the day, it’s Mr. Smollett that committed this false claim.”
“You have a person using hate crime laws that are on the books to protect people who are minorities from violence, to then turn around and use those laws to advance your career and your financial reward?” said the mayor.
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson also reiterated strong distaste and shock with the outcome that is the Smollett case. Many took to social media to express their disapproval, not simply for this case, but for the state of celebrities and the justice system overall.
If you’re mad that Jussie Smollett charges got dropped, or that Lorie Loughlin’s daughter is still at USC, or that Paul Manafort only got a few years of prison, its understandable. It’s complicated but just remember that legally, they’re rich…
Hope that clears things up.
— @hollywoodminority (@hwood_minority) March 26, 2019
Smollett’s attorney team released a statement arguing he still claimed innocence and citing him the victim of being accused in the court of public opinion.
Whatever side of the saga one lies on, the fact is, we all hope that this confusing case is finally over, once and for all.