In a surprising turn of events, all charges against Empire actor Jussie Smollett were dropped on Tuesday. In January, Smollett claimed to have been targeted in a racist and homophobic hate crime. At first, many political figures and celebrities spoke out in his support. However, parts of his story didn’t seem to add up and he was later accused of staging his own hate crime in an effort to boost his career. Sixteen felony counts of disorderly conduct were charged against him and it looked like he’d be facing jail time. Nevertheless, Chicago prosecutors reviewed the details of the case and suddenly dismissed each charge. Senator and 2020 presidential candidate Kamala Harris is one of the many public figures to voice her confusion regarding this twisted saga, according to Mediaite News.
Back in January, Harris spoke out in complete support of Smollett after the initial news of the incident took place. At this point, the actor was being treated only as a victim and not a potential suspect. She took to Twitter to wish Smollett a fast recovery and condemn all acts of hate based upon race or sexuality.
— The Hill (@thehill) March 26, 2019
Nevertheless, when Smollett was officially charged for filing a false police report in February, the senator changed her tune. She issued a lengthy statement on social media regarding the case and her disappointment over the new direction it had taken. She went on to slam the act of making false claims to police, saying that such activity wastes precious time and resources that could be spent on relevant cases.
Once again, Senator Harris is speaking out again about this many-layered case. Like many of us, she’s completely confused. She sat down with CNN journalist Wolf Blitzer to discuss her take on things as a former prosecutor.
“To be honest with you, Wolf, I’m completely confused. I don’t understand. I don’t know, I don’t know the underlying evidence. There’s a sealed document, obviously. I don’t know. I’m at a loss. I think we’re going to have to leave it up to the judgment of the prosecutor. I think we should leave it up to the judgment of the police chief and the mayor, of course, to give us some better sense of what’s going on.”
She’s not the only one who doesn’t understand this sudden shift. Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel is chalking up the dismissal to Smollett being a person of influence, according to CNN.
“It’s just not right. It’s not right on any level,” he said.