Jussie Smollett in his February 2019 mugshot
Jussie Smollett has been indicted by a special prosecutor in Chicago, nearly a year after the initial charges against him over an alleged hoax attack were dropped.
A Cook County grand jury hit the Empire actor with six counts of disorderly conduct on Tuesday for allegedly staging a racist and homophobic hate crime and lying to police about it.
Special prosecutor Dan Webb announced the charges against Smollett and said that the further prosecution of the actor is in the ‘interest of justice’.
It is now more than a year since Smollett claimed he was attacked at 2am on January 29, 2019 while walking to a Subway near his Chicago home to buy a sandwich.
He told police his attackers called him racist and homophobic slurs and that they appeared light-skinned.
Nigerian brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo were then identified by police as the people he’d said attacked him. The pair knew Smollett and told the authorities he paid them to attack him in a staged incident to allegedly boost his celebrity profile and salary.
Brothers Abel (left) and Ola (right) Osundairo told police Smollett paid them to stage the attack
‘This is clearly all about politics not justice’: Full statement from Jussie Smollett’s Attorney Tina Glandian
This indictment raises serious questions about the integrity of the investigation that led to the renewed charges against Mr. Smollett, not the least of which is the use of the same CPD detectives who were part of the original investigation into the attack on Mr. Smollett to conduct the current investigation, despite Mr. Smollett’s pending civil claims against the City of Chicago and CPD officers for malicious prosecution.
And one of the two witnesses who testified before the grand jury is the very same detective Mr. Smollett is currently suing for his role in the initial prosecution of him.
After more than five months of investigation, the Office of the Special Prosecutor has not found any evidence of wrongdoing whatsoever related to the dismissal of the charges against Mr. Smollett.
Rather, the charges were appropriately dismissed the first time because they were not supported by the evidence.
The attempt to re-prosecute Mr. Smollett one year later on the eve of the Cook County State’s Attorney election is clearly all about politics not justice.
Smollett was then hit with a 16-count grand jury indictment and faced more than 50 years behind bars — until State’s Attorney Kim Foxx suddenly dropped all the charges last March in exchange for him doing community service.
It was a decision that blindsided and outraged Chicago’s former mayor Rahm Emanuel and former Chief of Police Eddie Johnson.
Smollett, who has all along insisted he is innocent, then sued the city for malicious prosecution.
His attorney Tina Glandian issued a statement Tuesday saying: ‘The attempt to re-prosecute Mr. Smollett one year later on the eve of the Cook County State’s Attorney election is clearly all about politics not justice.’
There have been various rounds of civil litigation, but the cases have been delayed because it has been so difficult to identify an impartial prosecutor.
Webb was eventually brought in to examine the case.
The saga began on January 30 last year when it emerged that Smollett claimed he had been the victim of a racist, anti-gay attack.
At the time, it seemed he had been walking home from Subway in the middle of the night after returning home late on a delayed flight when he was approached.
He told police afterwards his attackers identified him from the show he was on, Empire, and called him both the N-word and ‘f****t’.
He said they beat him, poured bleach on him then put a noose around his neck.
Smollett went back to his apartment where his friend, Frank Gaston, was. It was Gaston who insisted they call police.
When officers arrived, the actor refused to hand over his phone.
He went to the hospital to be checked over but had no major injuries.
Smollet pictured suffering injuries to his face in the hospital after the alleged attack
This is a police photo of the rope used to create the noose in the alleged attack
The Chicago Police Department vowed to investigate the incident with all its might, and celebrities around the world rushed to share their support of Smollett.
He became a household name almost overnight.
But as the police investigation progressed, leaks began from within the police department that all may not have been as it seemed.
As the controversy grew, Smollett – determined to make his case – went on Good Morning America where he cried and insisted he was telling the truth.
By then, Chicago PD had released grainy surveillance camera footage of two men walking near the scene of the incident itself which was among the only part of his journey not captured on Chicago’s vast network of security cameras that night.
Chicago Police have released 69 hours of video related to Jussie Smollett’s alleged hate crime case on Monday including footage of him wearing a noose he claimed his assailants threw on him. Smollett pictured above muzzed wearing the noose
Smollett unequivocally identified the two men in the grainy footage as his attackers.
Neither their faces nor skin color could be made out in it.
Unbeknownst to him while he was conducting his GMA interview, the Chicago PD was building a case against him.
They had identified the people in the video as the Osundairo brothers and had backed-up their belief by tracking the pair’s movements in the days and hours both before and after the incident.
Smollett was eventually arrested and charged with suspicion of lying to police.
The brothers flew to Nigeria within hours of the January 29 incident and missed the media storm which followed.
The Empire actor (left) had claimed that he was attacked by two men who launched racial and homophobic slurs at him and threw a noose on him. Police later determined that he staged the attack and charged him with filing a false police report and those charges were later dropped by Cook County prosecutor Kim Foxx (right)
When they landed back in the US, police investigators were waiting to question them.
After hours of secret interviews, they told cops that Smollett had paid them to carry out the attack as part of an elaborate hoax.
Special Prosecutor Dan Webb was appointed in August to examine what occurred in the case
Smollett was then arrested.
In an extraordinary press conference afterwards, then police chief Eddie Gallagher accused him of inflaming race relations in Chicago and of wasting police time.
He bellowed that Smollett had tried to leverage the ‘attack’ to get his bosses at Empire to pay him more.
Despite police outrage, prosecutor Kim Foxx was quiet.
The case then went to a grand jury which returned a stunning, 16-felony indictment that would have put Smollett behind bars for more than 50 years if he had been convicted.
By then, Foxx had informally recused herself from the case.
Her conflict of interest was that in the early days of the police investigation, she intervened at the request of Smollett’s family and their friend – Time’s Up CEO Tina Tchen – who wanted the FBI to take over the police investigation.
JUSSIE SMOLLETT TIMELINE
January 29: The ‘hoax’ attack outside Smollett’s apartment in Chicago occurs.
January 30: A wave of public sympathy rushes over Smollett, until then a relatively unknown actor
February 14: After a series of unfavorable leaks from the Chicago PD, Smollett goes on Good Morning America to plead his case.
Unbeknownst to him, brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo are being interviewed by police after returning from Nigeria.
February 20: Smollett is arrested and accused of lying to police.
He is bailed out on a $10,000 cash bond.
March 7: Grand jury indicted Smollett
March 26: Charges dropped
April 11: Chicago sues Smollett for $130,000 – the cost of the investigation
August: Dan Webb is appointed special prosecutor
November: Smollett counter-sues, alleging malicious prosecution
February 11, 2020: Reports emerge that Dan Webb has charged Smollett
They said they were worried by the number of leaks that had come from the Chicago PD and asked Foxx to help. She said she would try.
After the grand jury indictment, the case stalled for a few weeks.
Then, in March, Foxx’s deputy Joseph Magats – who had taken over – announced the decision that the charges against Smollett had been dropped.
Foxx had intervened again, it emerged, and pointed to what they called ‘alternative prosecution’ whereby Smollett, a first-time offender, was let off with a $10,000 bail forfeiture and community service.
There was outrage and calls for Foxx to be investigated herself for prosecutorial misconduct.
As judges and special prosecutors for that task were tossed around, the city came out swinging in civil court. They sued Smollett, asking him to reimburse them for all the money they said they’d wasted investigating what they believed were bogus claims.
Smollett counter-sued, accusing the city and Eddie Gallagher of malicious prosecution. He lost his job on Empire and became a pariah in the showbiz world he was allegedly trying to ascend through.
Webb was appointed in August to investigate why Foxx’s office had dropped the charges.
He himself faced criticism and claims of another conflict of interest when it emerged he had donated $1,000 to Foxx’s re-election campaign once.
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Jussie Smollett is indicted by a special prosecutor in Chicago on SIX counts 'for lying to police about being the victim of a racist homophobic attack', a year after similar charges were dropped have 1784 words, post on www.dailymail.co.uk at February 11, 2020. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.