28 March, 2019
They accused him of sending himself a threatening letter and hiring two acquaintances to stage the attack, complete with homophobic and racial slurs, while invoking Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan.
Prosecutors said they had shelved all 16 felony charges against "Empire" star Jussie Smollett in exchange for an agreement that he carry out community service and forfeit a $10,000 bond payment. "Frankly, I've never seen anything like this before", Lewis said. Smollett addressed the media after an emergency hearing in Chicago on Wednesday, where he admitted that he's been "truthful on every level" throughout the investigation.
Now people are wondering how and why the state stopped pursuing the case although Chicago Police Department superintendent Eddie T. Johnson continues to maintain Smollett's guilt in no uncertain terms. "He's saying he's innocent and his words are true".
With little explanation, authorities abandoned the criminal case after only five weeks.
"This is a whitewash of justice", Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a former congressman and White House chief-of-staff, told a hastily-arranged news conference.
"This is not a new or unusual practice". An attorney for them, Gloria Schmidt, has said the brothers agreed to help Smollett because of their friendship with him and the sense that he was helping their careers.
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Boeing chairman and chief executive Dennis Muilenburg later reaffirmed that the company was supporting the investigation. Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges told journalists that a preliminary report would be released within 30 days.
"The Alternative Prosecutions Unit gives people, even those we believe committed a crime, opportunity to participate in some alternative to court involvement".
Former mayoral candidate Jerry Joyce has questions about how the Cook County state's attorney's office handled the Jussie Smollett case, but he insists he isn't angling for top prosecutor Kim Foxx's job. "At the end of the day ... it's Mr Smollett who committed this hoax".
A third Osundario brother spoke out Wednesday on the Jussie Smollett case after a local television reporter tracked him down. "I stand behind the detective's investigation".
"We also think that it's a little odd that she never that no one ever told the police department, the F.O.P, the mayor's office that they were going to dismiss the charges in this case".
Days before the assault, Smollett allegedly tried to gain attention by sending a false letter to the set of his show.
The 36-year-old actor was written out of the final two episodes of "Empires" fifth season to "minimize disruption" to the set, but Fox hasn't yet announced whether he'll be back as Jamal Lyon for season six.
She says Smollett is a crime victim and "just wants his life back".
Smollett said he wanted to move on with his life and continue to fight for justice, equality and marginalized people.