What the Mayor, the Police and the Prosecutor Had to Say After the Jussie Smollett Charges Were Dropped


The announcement by Chicago prosecutors on Tuesday that they were dropping all charges against the “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett was the latest turn in a strange and twisting case. And it enraged the city’s own mayor and police superintendent.

Joe Magats, the prosecutor, said the charges were dropped after Mr. Smollett, accused of staging a hate crime attack in January, agreed to community service and to give up the $10,000 he paid for his release. But Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson soon denounced the decision and renewed their criticism of Mr. Smollett.

The contradictory statements from the city’s leadership showed how tangled and inflammatory the case has become. Here are Tuesday’s statements from Mr. Magats, Mr. Smollett’s lawyer, Mr. Emanuel and Mr. Johnson, as well as Mr. Smollett, in their own words.

“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.

In the last two years, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office has referred more than 5,700 cases for alternative prosecution. This is not a new or unusual practice. An alternative disposition does not mean that there were any problems or infirmities with the case or the evidence. We stand behind the Chicago Police Department’s investigation and our decision to approve charges in this case. We did not exonerate Mr. Smollett. The charges were dropped in return for Mr. Smollett’s agreement to do community service and forfeit his $10,000 bond to the City of Chicago. Without the completion of these terms, the charges would not have been dropped.

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