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Chicago Mayor: Jussie Smollett Is Going to Pay for the Cost of Investigations


Law enforcement officers of the Chicago Police Department were not the only ones on Tuesday who reacted angrily to Cook County prosecutor’s office dropping charges against Empire actor Jussie Smollett. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel ripped the decision as a “whitewash of justice” multiple times. On Thursday, Emanuel went on WGN Radio and vowed that Smollett would be doing more than community service and forfeiting $10,000 bond.

Host of The Opening Bell Steve Grzanich said that Emanuel, on behalf of the City of Chicago, will be sending a bill to Smollett to cover the cost of extensive investigations. Police not only investigated the alleged hate crime, they also spent time looking for and finding persons of interest, interviewing Smollett, interviewing the Osunadairo brothers, and getting them to flip/admit the attack was staged.

The Smollett decision occurred even though Foxx’s office believed, as police did, that Smollett lied. Smollett’s legal tceam celebrated an expunged record and said Smollett was a “victim who was vilified.”

Foxx controversially announced that “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.”

Law&Crime explored possible evidentiary issues here.

Smollett will not spend time behind bars, but will perform “voluntary” community service and forfeit $10,000 bond — this, after Chicago Police accused him of paying Abel and Ola Osundairo to stage a hate crime that featured a noose, a bleach-like substance, racist and homophobic slurs, and the phrase “This is MAGA country.”

Foxx attempted to explain the decision-making on Wednesday. She told CBS Chicago that the Smollett case was treated like “thousands of others with the same level of offense, and the same criminal background.”

Foxx sought to address concerns that Chicago Police wasted a lot of time and resources.

“We are grateful for the work that they have done on this case, but this outcome is not an outlier to similarly situated cases. And I think it’s really important that we have that understanding, because this was an outcome that was not unexpected,” Foxx said. Foxx said a second time the “outcome was not unexpected.”

The outrage over the non-prosecution is building, whether it’s coming in the form of Emanuel’s comments or President Donald Trump‘s call for an FBI and DOJ investigation or an Illinois lawmaker looking to punish shows that hire Smollett.

[Images via Matthew Stockman/Getty Images for The Laver Cup, Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.