With the way the Chicago Police Department was acting, you’d think Jussie Smollett killed someone. (That would be ironic since that’s the same police force that has decades of blood on its hands, from Fred Hampton to Laquan McDonald, but we digress.) Now, the department, which is still under a court-ordered consent decree to reform its corruption, has called for a federal probe into Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, who is the first Black woman to serve in that position.
Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) in Chicago blasted Foxx on Tuesday, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“The conduct of her office from the very beginning of this cases was highly, highly suspicious,” the FOP’s second vice president Martin Preib said. “The entire country is outraged by it. The evidence is overwhelming that he was legitimately charged in this case. This decision [to drop the charges] appears to be utterly arbitrary, capricious and suspicious.”
The FOP also cited what it was Foxx’s “interference” in the case.
Three days after Smollett was allegedly attacked on Jan. 29, Foxx asked Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to give the case to the FBI. She was allegedly concerned about the leaks about the case that were reportedly coming from the police. However, Foxx recused herself from the case as soon it was reported that Smollett was a possible suspect.
Tina Tchen, former chief of staff to first lady Michelle Obama, sent a text message to Foxx saying the family had “concerns about the investigation,” the Chicago Tribune reported. The messages began Feb. 1. See below:
“Spoke to the Superintendent Johnson,” Foxx emailed Tchen back on Feb. 1. “I convinced him to Reach out to FBI to ask that they take over the investigation.”
The same day, Foxx texted with Smollett’s relative, whose name was blacked out in copies released by her office.
“Spoke to the superintendent earlier, he made the ask,” Foxx wrote. “Trying to figure out logistics. I’ll keep you posted.”
“Omg this would be a huge victory,” the relative replied.
“I make no guarantees, but I’m trying,” Foxx wrote back.
Kiera Ellis, a spokeswoman for the state’s attorney’s office, defended Foxx.
“When she initially engaged in the communications, Mr. Smollett was still believed to be the victim of the crime,” Ellis said in a statement. “As the investigation started to change and it became a possibility that he could actually be a suspect, that is when she made the decision (to recuse herself).”
Foxx had no involvement in the charges being dropped Tuesday.
Nonetheless, the Chicago Police and even Mayor Rahm Emanuel were still on the attack. During a press conference with Johnson, Emanuel was way more vocal about Smollett’s dropped charges than he was with egregious cases of police violence against Black Chicagoans, like Laquan McDonald or Black girls and young women who have gone missing from the city in recent years.
“This is a whitewash of justice,” Emanuel said. “A grand jury could not have been clearer.” He also accused Smollett of doing this “all in the name of self-promotion.” In addition, he asked, “Where is the accountability in the system?”
The “Empire” actor was indicted by a grand jury on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report back on March 8. However, the prosecutor dropped all charges and released the following statement: “We believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case.”
Smollett’s team claimed the actor had been vindicated.
“Today, all criminal charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and his record has been wiped clean of the filing of this tragic complaint against him,” they said in a brief statement. “Jussie was attacked by two people he was unable to identify on January 29th. He was a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator as a result of false and inappropriate remarks made to the public causing an inappropriate rush to judgment.”
The Chicago Police Department had dropped the ball from the beginning with their handling of the case. Originally, a police spokesperson said there was no footage of the assailants. Then, hours later, there were two “persons of interest” on video. They also claimed the “Empire” actor “refused” to give the cops his phone, but he did give his phone records. Then the FBI reportedly said the Chicago police “overstated” their Smollett case.
On Jan. 29, while walking to a subway, Smollett claimed two men yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him, investigators told The Hollywood Reporter. They allegedly punched and poured bleach on him while one of the suspects put a rope around his neck. As they fled the scene, Smollett told police they said, “This is MAGA country.”
Smollett has maintained his innocence from the beginning.