Call Me Unconvinced. In Land of Dirty Chicago Politics, Dropped Charges Doesn’t Equate to Jussie Smollett Being Innocent

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I’ve been quiet for 24 hours just to gather my thoughts on this whole Jussie Smollet fiasco.

In a shocking turn of events yesterday, the 16 felony charges against Jussie Smollett were suddenly dropped. Just out of thin air, and the entire country who was already divided on this issue became even more divided. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson were shocked, appalled, and blindsided when Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx made the announcement about the charged being dropped, and did it all without even a warning. 

I swear this is playing out like an arc on The Good Wife.

Say what you will about me, not supporting a fellow gay black man, but I really don’t care what you say about me – there is no way in hell that Jussie’s 16 felony charges get dropped out of thin air, esecpailly without sufficient information to back up the reasoning. If a deal was struck between his lawyers and prosecutors, great! But in this instance he didn’t strike a deal. He completed his community service (all of 2 days!), and forfeited his $10,000 bond. Something doesn’t seem fishy to you?!

I also find it extremely funny and ironic that people are claiming this as a victory for Jussie. All the “I told you so’s” are coming from everyone who vowed to #StandwithJussie. You didn’t want to believe “corrupt Chicago cops” who charged him, but believe the same historically corrupt justice department that acquits him?! Let’s stay consistent!

What makes things even more susupious is that the case has been sealed, so there will be no way to uncover what the CPD investigated and uncovered, what Jussie said in his multiple interrogations, witness statements, etc. So anyone can go off and say what they’d like and there’s nothing to corroborate anyone’s stories. 

Another aspect of this case has crossed my mind. If Jussie’s charges of filing a false police report has been dropped, you would think that there would be more evidence to corroborate the alleged hate crime actually happening. Where’s the evidence saying that is original story that Smollett told was true? Oh wait, we’ll never know because the case is sealed! These suspects should be brought to justice so they don’t commit this kind of crime again

Weeks ago SA Kim Foxx recused herself from the investigation without warning “due to the close proximity she had to the a witness” Well, PRIVATE texts and emails from Foxx have surfaced between former Michelle Obama Chief of Staff Tina Tchen, who was very eager and persistent to discuss a particular matter with Foxx. Coincidentally, hours after the texts were exchange, Foxx stepped away from the investigation. The Chicago Tribune uncovered these messages between Foxx and Tchen:

This is a classic example of dirty Chicago politics. Chicago Police Department has a history of not being upfront and honest about cases, so its tough to say they’re the victims here, but it would’ve been great to see what they uncovered. 

There’s no denying that Jussie used his celebrity to get the charges dropped. Is that okay? A lot of other people in Hollywood do it, especially white people. I HATE to bring race into this, but Jussie made it about race so I have to as well.

I think a lot fo people are shocked because as New York Times Op-Ed editor Charles Blow said on CNN’s New Day this morning, “the glove has been flipped inside out.” We’re used to white celebrities using their power and money, but since he’s black and powerful and m used the system to help him, we don’t know what to do with ourselves. He has the capability, so why shouldn’t he? But this isn’t a Jussie issue, this is a Chicago issue. The corruption and closed door deals are real, and this is a prime example that will be a stain on Chicago politics for years to come.

Just like Jussie’s original story, the story of the SA office just doesn’t add up. Tax payers of Chicago deserve answers, especially from Kim Foxx who’s department fumbled this investigate then proceeded these records to be sealed.

Kim Foxx ran for office in 2016 against Anita Alvarez, who hid the Laquan McDonald dash-cam video from the public, advocated for change and transparency within the Cook County State’s Attorney Office during her election. Kim, where is the transparency that you promised the Cook County resident in this case?

This is going to be interesting to see how 20th Century Fox handles Smollett’s role on Empire. When this news first broke the studio was reluctant to indictate what would happen with his role, besides the fact he’d be written out of the final two episodes of this season, but that was “not to disturb production.” As soon as the charges dropped however, Fox made it seem as if they were team Jussie from the start. I’d be shocked if he were written out of the show, especially since he’s co-stars Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson publicly remained in solidarity with Smollett, but there have been reports that unnamed cast members and writers has been divided on whether Smollett should return to the series. Will ratings fall when (if) Smollet returns to empire for season 6 this fall? Will ratings rise out of viewer curiosity and support for Jussie? Only time will tell.

If Jussie was found innocent in a court of law, I’d apologize for calling him a liar. But living in Chicago and knowing how politics work in this city, I just know something isn’t right. The FBI is still investigating the letter that was sent to the studio where Empire is shot, just to ensure Jussie wasn’t associated with that, so he’s not completely out of the water yet.

As a gay black man, if I were ever to get into trouble with the law, I don’t have the money and connections for my lawyers to work out a deal for me, as Jussie did, which is why I’m pissed we don’t get to know what really happened. I won’t apologize for calling him a liar until I know all the facts.

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