Jussie Smollett’s attorney believes politics are behind a new indictment handed down against the actor in connection with his alleged 2019 hate crime attack.
A special prosector assigned to look into the handling of the case announced Tuesday that a grand jury had returned a six-count indictment charging Smollett with “making four separate false reports to Chicago Police Department officers related to his false claims that he was the victim of a hate crime, knowing that he was not the victim of a crime.”
The state’s attorney’s office in Cook County, Illinois previously dropped 16 counts of disorderly conduct against Smollett after he was accused of filing a false police report in the case.
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Smollett told officers he was attacked by men yelling racist and homophobic slurs on Jan. 29, 2019.
Following a lengthy investigation, police accused Smollett of orchestrating the attack. The former Empire actor maintained his innocence and pleaded not guilty. Yet in a surprise move on March 26, the state’s attorney’s office dropped all charges.
Amid public outcry, special prosecutor Dan Webb was appointed to the case. Hours after Webb announced details of the new charges Tuesday, Smollett’s attorney Tina Glandian released a statement saying efforts to re-prosecute her client are “about politics not justice.”
Read Glandian’s full statement below.
“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. 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.”