Jussie Smollett Indicted in Chicago on 6 Counts of Disorderly Conduct
Former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett was indicted Tuesday in Chicago by special prosecutor Dan Webb, stemming from the alleged racist and anti-gay attack on him that occurred in January of 2019.
Smollett is due in court February 24 at the Criminal Court Building at 26th and California. Webb said in a statement that Smollett faces six felony counts of disorderly conduct, charges that stem from four separate false reports that he gave to police in which he contended he was a victim of a hate crime “knowing that he was not the victim of a crime.”
The statement immediately raised questions about county prosecutors’ decision to drop the charges last year and made it clear that those prosecutors had not adequately explained to special prosecutors why they did so. But Webb stressed that he had reached no conclusions about whether anyone involved in the case had engaged in any wrongdoing.
Webb released the following statement regarding the indictment.
“Dan K. Webb, special prosecutor for Cook County, today announced that the Office of the Special Prosecutor (“OSP”) has now completed all of its investigative steps regarding Jussie Smollett, and has made the decision to further prosecute Mr. Smollett. Based on the recommendation of the OSP, a Cook County grand jury returned a six-count indictment charging Jussie Smollett with making four separate false reports to Chicago Police Department officers related to his false claims that he was the victim of a hate crime, knowing that he was not the victim of a crime,” Webb said in a statement.
Tina Glandian, who is the attorney for Smollett, released the following statement Tuesday night regarding the new indictment: “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. 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. 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. 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.”
Smollett told Chicago police in January of 2019 that two men physically attacked him and yelled racial and homophobic slurs. But prosecutors had insisted Smollett faked the racist, anti-gay attack on himself in the hopes that the attention would advance his acting career.
Jussie Smollett indictment (PDF)
Special Prosecutor’s statement (PDF)