What to Know
- All criminal charges against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett were dropped Tuesday, his legal team said
- Smollett pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of disorderly conduct earlier this month
- Chicago police alleged he staged a hate crime attack on himself in January
The Chicago Police Department released several documents, including the lengthy redacted police report, related to the investigation into "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett Wednesday.
The documents were obtained by NBC News via Freedom of Information Act request and can be viewed in full below. [[507725471, C]]
The report appears to detail developments in the case as they occurred, with detectives filing updates on witness interviews, evidence collection, Smollett's arrest, and more.
All criminal charges against Smollett were dropped Tuesday, nearly two months after the actor was accused of orchestrating a hate crime attack on himself.
The surprise decision to dismiss all charges, which was celebrated by Smollett and his legal team and blasted by the city's mayor and police department, came during an "emergency court appearance" where prosecutors not only dropped the charges against Smollett but agreed to expunge the actor's record.
Smollett pleaded not guilty to multiple disorderly conduct charges earlier this month. He was initially charged with one felony count of disorderly conduct in filing a false police report in February, with Chicago police alleging that he staged the attack the month before because he was "dissatisfied with his salary." A Cook County grand jury then indicted Smollett on 16 felony counts.
"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," Smollett's attorneys Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes said in a statement. [[507675032, C]]
Smollett maintained his innocence, saying after court that he has been "truthful and consistent on every single level since day one."
Smollett reported the alleged attack to police on Jan. 29, claiming to have been beaten by two men who shouted racist and homophobic slurs, beat him, put a noose around his neck, and poured bleach on him, according to the indictment.
Initially investigating the incident as a possible hate crime, Chicago police said new information "shifted" their approach to the case, leading them to allege that Smollett orchestrated the assault by hiring two brothers who worked on "Empire" to execute it. [[507680792, C]]
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Supt. Eddie Johnson hammered the decision to dismiss charges against him, saying they were unaware it was happening.
"At the end of the day it's Mr. Smollett who committed this hoax. Period. If he wanted to clear his name the way to do that was in a court of law so that everyone could see the evidence," Johnson said. "I stand by the facts of what we produced. If they want to dispute those facts the place to do that is in court."
Emanuel called the decision a "whitewash of justice."
"Where is the accountability in the system? You cannot have because of a person’s position, one set of rules apply to them and another set of rules apply to everybody else," he said. [[507695232, C]]
In a statement, the Cook County State's Attorney’s office said the decision came “after reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollet’s volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his bond to the City of Chicago."
"We believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case," the statement read.