Photo Credit: Jussie Smollett/Facebook
The Jussie Smollett investigation is over, at least in the city of Chicago. The feds have an ongoing one. But the mayor there, Rahm Emanuel isn’t willing to let it go, even if all 16 charges have been dropped. The city’s police department isn’t either, come to think of it. A demonstration was lead by the city’s police union on April 1st, calling for the resignation of Cook County state’s attorney Kimberly Foxx for botching the case after they had concluded Smollett staged his attack. “We expended a lot of manpower and we’ve done a lot of work to make sure that this case was brought to trial, and it wasn’t. That’s a lot of money to just throw away,” the president of the Fraternal Order of Police, Kevin Graham said at the demonstration.
A counter demonstration was lead by Jesse Jackson in defense of the state’s attorney, and largely because she’s the county’s first black female prosecutor. “The attack on Kim Foxx is not about Jussie,” Rev. Michael Pfleger, senior pastor of The Faith Community of Saint Sabina Roman Catholic Church stated. “Rather, it’s an excuse to try to remove a strong black woman who comes in the office of state’s attorney to reform it.”
On March 28th, Emanuel’s law department sent Smollett a letter asking him to pay the city $130,106.15 to cover the investigative costs. While it may seem exorbitant, it actually isn’t the full cost the city could have asked for. Violation of the false statement ordinance allows the city to ask for 3 times the damages incurred by the city according to the letter, which would have actually been $390,000 in this case. While the consequences of paying are not listed, they’re likely going to be a lawsuit from the city. More importantly here, the burden of proof to show he did it in a civil suit will be lower than that of a criminal case. There’s just one caveat to this, and that is that Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot could reverse any legal action after taking office May 20th.
President Trump hasn’t been that thrilled about the case conclusion either. During a speech before the National Republican Congressional Committee Tuesday, he said, “How about the guy from Chicago? The actor that nobody ever heard of,” Trump said, sparking laughter among the crowd. “I said, ‘Who the hell is that?’ ” He went on to say “(Smollett) said he got taken out by ‘MAGA country.’ I said, ‘What the hell was that?’ I guess that’s a hate crime, right?” Last week he told reporters at the White House, “I think that case is an absolute embarrassment to our country, and somebody has to at least take a very good hard look at it.”
Further updates will be given as they come.