“This is making a fool of all of us.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that alleged hate-crime hoaxer Jussie Smollett “abused the city of Chicago” and that the actor and his legal team are “making a fool of all of us,” during a cable TV appearance Wednesday.
Emanuel was responding to Cook County prosecutors’ decision Tuesday to drop all charges against the “Empire” star.
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“You have the state’s attorney’s office saying he’s not exonerated, he actually did commit this hoax. He’s saying he’s innocent and his words aren’t true. They better get their story straight,” Emanuel said.
The former chief of staff to President Barack Obama was particularly outraged by Smollett’s alleged betrayal of the values of tolerance and diversity that define the city of Chicago. “This is making a fool of all of us,” he said. “You know, all over the city of Chicago, George, there are signs on front yards and windows that says ‘hate has no home here.’ He turned those values upside down and inside out.”
A heated Emanuel said Smollett “abused the city of Chicago” and accused him of “walking around with no sense of contrition, no sense of remorse.” He referenced remarks by Cook County State’s Attorney Joseph Magats, who told a Chicago CBS affiliate he does not believe Smollett is innocent.
“The state’s attorney is saying he’s actually guilty of this hoax and he’s walking around saying, ‘No, I’m innocent,'” Emanuel said.
“I would love to have everything that the Chicago Police Department collected and gathered to actually come to the conclusion, make all of that available,” he added.
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News that charges against Smollett had been dropped following a Tuesday emergency court hearing was met with public outrage and disbelief. The Chicago Police Department was reportedly “furious” about the developments.
Local media said police are confident in their evidence against the actor, who was last month charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct after being accused of staging a fake hate crime against himself on Jan. 29.
TMZ also reported that police suspect the dropping of charges may have been due to “untoward” involvement in the case by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. She had been in contact with Smollett’s family in the days after the attack, and at their request, tried to have the FBI take over the case.
In a press conference after the emergency hearing, Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told reporters that Smollett still owed the city of Chicago an apology.
“My personal opinion is, you all know where I stand on this,’” Johnson said. “Do I think justice was served? No. What do I think justice is? I think this city is still owed an apology.”
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