Even though America is almost evenly divided politically, there was one occurrence recently that we all pretty much agreed upon: Dropping all charges against Jussie Smollett didn’t make sense.
But to Mad Maxine Waters, yup, that was the “correct thing.”
The California Democrat, who has been race-baiting for decades, said, hey, nobody got hurt, and the hate hoaxer paid $10,000, anyway, so let’s all just move on, OK?
“First of all, we probably will never know all of the details,” Waters told ExtraTV. “We’ve heard a lot of information. No one was hurt — that is, physically, killed, shot — he never committed a crime before, he forfeited the bail and it’s this kind of situation where they close the case all over the country every day. I have learned this isn’t unusual.”
She went on to say the case has garnered “a lot of attention because of who he is — he’s an extremely talented man who people have come to love because he is on TV. I’m hopeful that he will go on with his career and be successful.” Saying she hasn’t spoken to Jussie since the charges were dropped, Rep. Waters said, “I would love to see him, and I am looking forward to seeing him very soon.”
Waters made her comments backstage at the NAACP Image Awards over the weekend. Smollett was also nominated for an award — best-supporting actor in a television drama, “Empire” — but he lost.
In January, Smollett claimed he was attacked by two white men who yelled “This is MAGA country,” a reference to President Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.” The allegations fell apart under police questioning and Smollett was indicted by a grand jury on 16 charges, including making false statements to police. But in a universally condemned move last week, all that was wiped by a Chicago prosecutor, who suddenly announced she was dropping all charges and sealing the case.
The actor claimed two men attacked him at 2 a.m. when he was walking home from a sandwich shop. He said they poured what he believed to be bleach on him, and placed a rope around his neck.
Last Tuesday, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx announced that her office was dropping the case. Smollett was allowed to walk free after forfeiting his $10,000 bail and performing 16 hours of community service, to which Foxx said, “I believe this is a just outcome based on the circumstances.”
Smollett later declared that the state’s attorney’s decision exonerated him.
“I want you to know that not for a moment was it in vain. I have been truthful and consistent on every level since day one. I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I’m accused of. This has been an incredibly difficult time. Honestly one of the worst of my entire life. But I am a man of faith and I am a man that has knowledge of my history and I would not bring my family, our lives or the movement through a fire like this, I just wouldn’t,” he said.
But the city of Chicago doesn’t agree.
“The City of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department take seriously those who make false statements to the police, thereby diverting resources from other investigations and undermining the criminal justice system,” city attorney Edward N. Siskel wrote in a letter to Smollett’s team of lawyers.
On January 29, 2019, you made a police report in which you falsely claimed that two men had attacked you while yelling racial and homophobic slurs. The Chicago Police Department conducted an extensive investigation into this report. Over two dozen detectives and police officers participated in the investigation, ultimately spending weeks investigating your false claims, including a substantial number of overtime hours. As part of this investigation, Chicago police reviewed video and physical evidence and conducted several interviews, expending resources that could have been used for other investigations. Ultimately, the Chicago police investigation revealed that you knowingly led a false police report and had in fact orchestrated your own attack.
In an attempt to resolve this matter without further legal action, the City requires immediate payment of the $130,106.15 expended on overtime hours in the investigation of this matter. Please submit a money order or certified cashier’s check payable to “City of Chicago” to the following address within seven (7) days of the date of this letter. If the amount is not timely paid, the Department of Law may prosecute you for making a false statement to the City … or pursue any other legal remedy available at law.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel agreed, saying Smollett should reimburse the city. “Given that he doesn’t feel any sense of contrition and remorse,” Emanuel said, “my recommendation is that when he writes the check, in the memo section, he can put the words, ‘I’m accountable for the hoax.’ ”
“Where is the accountability in the system?” Emanuel said. “You cannot have – because of a person’s position – one set of rules applies to them and another set of rules apply to everyone else. Our officers did hard work day in and day out, countless hours working to unwind what actually happened that night. The city saw its reputation dragged through the mud…It’s not just the officers’ work, but the work of the grand jury that made a decision based on only a sliver of the evidence [presented]. Because of the judge’s decision, none of that evidence will ever be made public.”