When fame and fortune are your life, it’s a given that your name may pop up in headlines all over the world. For most people the best headlines are the good ones. Ones where you’ve donated to an organization, or you’ve won some prestigious award of some sort. But for Jussie Smollett, that’s not even close to why his name has been in every headline lately.
“Empire” actor and R&B singer Jussie Smollett told Chicago police in January that two men physically attacked him and yelled racial and homophobic slurs. For those who are not up to date on these accusations, it all turned out to be a hoax setup by the actor. He was arrested, but then magically all charges against him were dropped. What a weird way the justice system seems to work in Chicago.
Yet now, Smollett is in the headlines once again, even though he got off scott free, he’s refusing to pay the City of Chicago the fees of more than $130,000 to reimburse costs of investigating what authorities say was a staged racist, anti-gay attack.
The City of Chicago sent Smollett a letter in March demanding that he pay $130,000 for costs that were incurred during the attack investigation. They stated:
“This is a reasonable and legally justifiable amount to collect to help offset the cost of the investigation.” “Mr. Smollett has refused to reimburse the City of Chicago for the cost of police overtime spent investigating his false police report on January 29, 2019. The Law Department is now drafting a civil complaint that will be filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County. Once it is filed, the Law Department will send a courtesy copy of the complaint to Mr. Smollett’s Los Angeles-based legal team.”
Bill McCaffrey, City of Chicago Department of Law also said in a statement:
“Mr. Smollett has refused to reimburse the City of Chicago for the cost of police overtime spent investigating his false police report on January 29, 2019. The Law Department is now drafting a civil complaint that will be filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County. Once it is filed, the Law Department will send a courtesy copy of the complaint to Mr. Smollett’s Los Angeles-based legal team.”
Even further, just thus Thursday The Daily Wire posted that Chicago’s mayor, Lori Lightfoot, has made it a priority to figure out what happened with the Smollett case. She told them:
“We cannot create the perception that if you’re rich or famous or both that you got one set of justice and for everybody else, it’s something much harsher. That won’t do, and we need to make sure that we have a criminal justice system that has integrity,” Lightfoot said in an interview. “The state’s attorney’s office has to provide more information about the rationale for the decision to drop the charges.”
Good on her, this has gotten so heated that a group of suburban Chicago police chiefs are calling on Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx to resign in the wake of her office’s decision to drop charges against Jussie Smollett. Steven Stelter, of the West Suburban Chiefs of Police Association, told reporters it wasn’t only about her handling of Smollett’s case. He also pointed to broader Foxx policies to not prosecute many lower-level felonies. He said residents needed to know Foxx “is letting them down.” We couldn’t agree more sir.
It will be interesting to keep watching how all this unfolds, and if Smollett will get off free again without paying the court costs. Who knows exactly how this will play out, but I for one will be waiting to see how this travesty unfolds. It’s kind of like watching a train wreck, you see it coming, you know it’s bad, but you just can’t look away.