Jussie Smollett has been cleared by prosecutors for allegedly falsing a police report, and Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel is not impressed.
“I’d like to remind everybody that a grand jury indicted this individual based on only a piece of the evidence that the police had collected in that period of time,” Emanuel said as he addressed on Tuesday, expounding as follows:
“To use the principles and values behind [the Hate Crimes Prevention Act] to self-promote your career is a cost that comes to all the individuals.”
He continued, “Gay men and women who come forward and say they were a victim of a hate crime will now be doubted. People of faith… will be a victim of hate crimes."
"People of all walks of life, backgrounds, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation — this now casts a shadow on whether they’re telling the truth, and he did this all in the name of self-promotion."
"This is a whitewash of justice.”
Eddie Johnson, the Superintendent of Chicago PD, who made headlines for speaking out against Jussie when he was originally charged continued to be against the Empire actor's version of events.
“You all know where I stand on this. Do I think justice was served? No,” Johnson said.
“This city is still owed an apology… [Smollett] chose to hide behind secrecy and broker a deal to circumvent the judicial system. My job as a police officer is to investigate an incident, gather evidence, gather facts and present them to the state’s attorney."
He continued, "That’s what we did. I stand behind the detectives’ investigation.”
Johnson doubled down, saying, “it’s Mr. Smollett who committed this hoax, period. If he wanted to clear his name, the way to do that was in a court of law.”
News broke earlier today that Smollett had been cleared of all charges. Smollett went on to address reporters and said that he was “truthful and consistent on every single level since Day One.”
Fox has yet to confirm whether or not Smollett will be back for Empire's sixth season. A renewal is yet to be announced, but the show remains the network's second highest-rated drama, meaning a renewal is likely.
Empire airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on Fox.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.