Actor Jussie Smollett’s legal team slammed the former “Empire” actor’s new indictment in a statement Tuesday.
A Cook County grand jury handed Smollett a six-count indictment for making four separate false reports to the Chicago Police Department after the alleged Jan. 29 attack per recommendation by special prosecutor Dan Webb, according to a report published by Entertainment Tonight.
Jussie Smollett is once again facing charges in Chicago for claiming he was the victim of a hate crime attack. But this morning, questions are being raised about the timing of the new indictment. @miguelnbc has the latest. pic.twitter.com/oBb0ucTHDH
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) February 12, 2020
“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,” the statement said. “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.” (RELATED: Jussie Smollett Files Malicious Prosecution Counterclaim Against Chicago)
“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,” the statement continued. “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.”
As previously reported, Chicago Police opened a hate crime investigation after Smollett claimed he was attacked near his home. The former “Empire” actor said he was approached by two men around 2 a.m. who shouted “racial and homophobic slurs.” The men then allegedly poured an “unknown substance” on Smollett and tied a noose around his neck.
Later police charged Smollett with filing a false police report. After bringing 16 counts of disorderly conduct against the actor, prosecutor Kim Foxx dropped all the charges in March.
Special prosecutor Webb was appointed in August to investigate the reasoning behind Foxx dropping the charges.