Jussie Smollett has seemed to dominate just about every news cycle since he claimed to be a victim of a hate crime in January. The former Empire actor said he was walking alone in downtown Chicago when he was attacked in what appeared to be a racist and homophobic altercation. The story later shifted, as evidence piled up against Smollett and he instead became the suspect.
After being handed down 16 felony charges for allegedly filing a false police report, prosecutors suddenly dropped the charges against him earlier this week in a decision that shocked the nation. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, like many others, is ready to move on from Smollett and this entire confusing case, according to The Chicago Sun-Times.
Johnson and the rest of the Chicago Police Department fully believed that Smollett was guilty of staging the attack in an effort to boost his career. They weren’t alone in their stance. Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel has voiced his disapproval of the way the prosecution team handled the case. Even though Smollett is now a free man, Johnson’s feelings regarding the case haven’t changed. When he was called upon by city officials to apologize for his earlier comments about Smollett and the damage done to his reputation, the superintendent actually laughed out loud at the mere thought.
A CPD source said Eddie Johnson was “furious” and maintained the evidence against Smollett was “rock solid.” https://t.co/X6ORN9SLzu
— Chicago Sun-Times (@Suntimes) March 26, 2019
“Absolutely not,” he said.
Despite the fact that the twisted saga that has been the Smollett case did not turn out the way Johnson or his team had hoped, he doesn’t want to dwell on it any longer. He is ready to move on and focus on other serious cases. The department’s main priority is keeping the city safe, he said on Friday.
“I have to turn the page and focus on what’s really important in this city. We’re getting ready to go into the summer months. I have to focus on violent crime and keeping this city safe. Cops are resilient people. We go to court all the time and don’t get the outcomes that we’re looking for. We’re accustomed to it…. We move on.”
Johnson went on to refute any claims that their police investigation was flawed, or that their mistakes are what could have caused the case to get so out of control. He maintains his stance that the incident involving Smollett was not a hate crime.
“I can guarantee you that the investigation the Chicago Police Department conducted was a thorough one. And the facts bear out that this was not a hate crime. I stand by that thorough investigation that the detectives did.”