Prosecutors drop all charges against Empire's Jussie Smollet
CHICAGO — Prosecutors have dropped all charges against Empire actor, Jussie Smollett, who was accused of hiring two acquaintances to stage a racial attack against him, reports CNN.
According to a statement issued by the Cook County State Attorney's Office, the 16 felony disorderly conduct charges against Smolley were dropped in exchange for Smollett carrying out 16 hours of community service and a $10,000 bond forfeiture to the City of Chicago.
Joseph Magats, the lead prosecutor in this case, told CNN that Smollett was not a danger to the community, however, he did clarify that he did not believe Smollett was innocent.
Chicago authorities are up in arms over the decision.
Chicago mayor, Rahm Emanuel told CNN that the actor was using a hate crime to advance his own career, adding, "This is without a doubt a whitewash of justice and sends a clear message that if you're in a position of influence and power, you'll get treated one way.
Other people will be treated another way."
Chicago police superintendent, Eddie Johnson, also expressed his disappointment during a press conference on Tuesday saying, quote, "Do I think justice was served?
What do I think justice is?
I think this city is still owed an apology."
Some politicians expressed concern over what kind of precedent this staged attack was setting.
Current Senator and 2020 presidential candidate Kamala Harris took to Twitter to share a message of sadness and frustration following the announcement.
In it, she says that false police reports, "not only diverts resources away from serious investigations but makes it more difficult for other victims of crime to come forward."
Not everyone is unhappy about the outcome.
Many celebrities close to Smollett celebrated the decision in social media.
Empire star, Taraji P.
Henson, told USA today she was "happy that the truth has finally been set free."
The official Twitter for the writers of Empire, simply tweeted a photo of a CNN TV report on Smollett with the caption, "see y'all Wednesday.
Smollett continues to declare his innocence, right before leaving court on Tuesday he told reporters, "I have been truthful and consistent on every ingle level since Day One."