Smollett files: Prosecutors double-crossed police on admission of guilt

Why did Chicago police get so angry when Jussie Smollett walked away from his hate-crime hoax scot-free? Newly released documents from the previously sealed case file reveal that prosecutors double-crossed them, CBS’ Chicago affiliate reports. A week after getting the case, the state attorney’s office told police that they would cut a deferred-prosecution deal with the Empire actor, but led them to believe that would include a public admission of guilt:


From all the documents in the Jussie Smollett case it is becoming clear why the Chicago Police Department and the mayor were so publicly upset when charges in the case were suddenly dropped.

Jusse Smollett was to admit guilt for staging a hate crime. Instead he walked free. …

Documents revealed that on February 28 after Smollett was indicted, the state’s attorney’s office notified CPD, saying the case would be prosecuted with $10,000 in restitution, community service and admission of guilt.

But that admission of guilt never happened as charges were suddenly dropped by Kim Foxx’s office nearly a month later, and Smollett walked free, blindsiding police.

Kim Foxx’ office ordered police to close their investigation a week after being handed the case, claiming that they would continue the investigation themselves. The deferred-prosecution model for a settlement came up a month later with the detectives, which was not unusual — as long as the defendant allocuted to his crime. It wasn’t significant enough to report up the chain of command, the papers reveal, only becoming an issue once Smollett and his attorneys claimed that he had been vindicated and exonerated. That infuriated police and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, leading to the very public confrontation between the city and Foxx.

So far, all that’s been released has been the court documents related to the prosecution. More is coming, however, and it might get a whole lot worse for Foxx and Smollett:

This is not the end of the document release either. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Thursday that officers plan to roll out another 300-plus pages of redacted materials next week, “including hand written detective notes, subpoena records and ancillary material.”

And there will be still another release after that.

“The final release will be pertinent video files that require a heavy amount of digital redaction for things like license plates of unrelated vehicles and the blurring of faces of individuals not involved in the criminal investigation. We hope to have that completed by the week after next.”


This will give a broader look at the investigation than jurors would normally get in a trial. Some of this might not have been admissable, and had Smollett copped to his crime, public interest in it might have been low to non-existent. Instead, all of it is almost guaranteed to be sensational, and much of it damaging to both Smollett and Foxx. Foxx didn’t get the records sealed just for practice, and Smollett’s attorneys didn’t fight unsealing them strictly as an academic exercise either.

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