By NAOMI FEINSTEIN
In a stunning twist, Chicago prosecutors dropped all charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett on Tuesday after he was accused of staging a racist and anti-gay attack on himself. However, Smollett still maintains innocence.
Despite refuting Smollett’s claim of being a victim rather than the mastermind behind the attack, prosecutors felt Smollett’s completion of 16 community service hours and $10,000 bond donated to the city was a sufficient punishment.
Chicago police and Mayor Rahm Emanual are angered by the prosecutors’ decision, believing Smollett staged the attack upon himself to gain publicity and advance his career.
This shocking decision leaves many people confused across the state as well as the nation because the Chicago police had said it had plenty of evidence that Smollett did orchestrate the attack on himself.
In hearing this decision, I was shocked myself because I saw the sharp criticism against Smollett and calls for justice all over the news and social media. Top officials made appearances promising that Smollett will be properly punished for his crimes.
I am left wondering as well as many others if Smollett’s fame played a factor in handling of this case. If this was a regular individual, would they receive the same punishment for 16 felony charges? I do not think so. Not only that but Smollett continues to lie about really happened so he did not seem to gain any lessons from his community service hours. Is there something happening within the State Attorney’s Office of Chicago that we don’t know about? It definitely seems like it as the office has completely changed its stance regarding this case for no apparent reason. Hopefully, the Fourth Estate can get to work in exposing what is really going on here and provide people answers to their questions.