Chicago’s mayor and its police department continue its warpath after epic loss in Smollett case dismissal.
Following federal prosecutors dropping a 16 count indictment against actor Jussie Smollett, the City of Chicago prepares to sue the “Empire” star for costs accrued during their investigation of his accusations of an alleged racial and homophobic attack in January.
On March 28, Chicago’s corporate counsel sent Smollet a $130,106.15 bill demanding that he pay for resources used during his case. Chicago police say they dipped into their budget to pay overtime to officers, along with other costs they want reimbursed.
Smollett was given seven days to settle the account. So far, Smollett has not complied. The city says that it will move forward in pursuing it legally.
One of the members of Smollett’s legal team, celebrity lawyer, Mark Geragos explained on a podcast he co-hosts, Reasonable Doubt, “I think [Emanuel’s] got no basis whatsoever. I think it’s kind of a grandstanding. ”
According to Geragos, whose previous clients were Michael Jackson and Chris Brown, the city pressured Cook County State’s Attorney Office to file charges.
“Rahm Emanuel … is so unpopular that he didn’t even run for re-election of mayor . . . the reason that there was this kind of rush to file the the charges initially was because they had the mayoral election the following Tuesday and they wanted to announce this on a Thursday. And then they knew they were going to bring the R[obert] Kelly prosecution on the Friday. So they had back-to-back [high profile cases] and the [police] chief could look like the hero and be America’s new sheriff.”
Demand Letter – Smollett Fa… by on Scribd
A breakdown of Smollet’s complicated, bizarre case
In a case that took erratic twists and turns, on January 29, Smollett reported to Chicago PD that he was assaulted by two men at 2 a.m. during a polar vortex in which temperatures dipped below zero. During these blisterry conditions, citizens were told to stay indoors by city officials.
Smollett said that he was on his way to get a late night Subway sandwich when he was attacked by men who noticed he starred on the “Empire” show. According to his account, the assailants put a light rope around his neck and poured chemicals on him while yelling racist and homophobic slurs. They also wore Trump’s campaign paraphernalia, Make America Great Again (MAGA) hats. Today, MAGA clothing has become a symbol of white supremacist and anti-LGBTQ ideology. Initial reports of the account listed the attackers as white males.
After hundreds of hours of reviewed footage and multiple interviews by Chicago PD, they identified two body-building Nigerians as the possible two men that night. Apparently, Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo knew Smollett through their work as extras on “Empire.”
At some point, the Osundairos received a $3,500 check from Smollett who said it went towards an agreement between them to provide fitness services to the actor-singer who wanted to lose weight before he shot a music video. Chicago PD countered with claims saying that their investigation pointed to the money going to them to orchestrate a bogus assault.
Shortly thereafter, Cook County announced that they indicted Smollett with 16 felony counts for staging a hate crime against himself, but dropped charges 18 days later.
Read Ark Republic article on Jussie Smollett case
Throughout the case, Smollett maintains his innocence, but entered into an agreement with Cook County State’s Attorney Office to drop charges. He forfeited a $10,000 release bond and was credited for 16 hours of community service that he performed with the PUSH Coalition prior to his lawyers brokering a deal. As part of the deal, the court filing of the case has been sealed.
Geragos said, “I think [prosecution] decided, once they looked at the evidence that they were going to lose at trial. That it was going to be a shit show.”
Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent, Eddie Johnson spoke out against the decision with fury. At a press conference, Emanuel said it was a “whitewash of justice” while Johnson said, “I think this city is still owed an apology.”
Donald Trump even jumped in calling the decision “outrageous” and called for a further investigation by the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
FBI & DOJ to review the outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago. It is an embarrassment to our Nation!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2019
In a follow up press conference, announcing Chicago’s demand for payment against Smollett, Emanuel said it was the “toxic environment” created by Trump.
“Let me be really clear about something: The only reason Jussie Smollett thought he could take advantage of a hoax about a hate crime is for the environment, the toxic environment that Donald Trump created,” said Emanuel.
Meanwhile, Smollett, who was put on leave by the “Empire” show has returned playing the son of a former drug kingpin turned music mogul.