Chicago mayor wants Smollett to foot bill for police probe
The mayor of Chicago thinks actor Jussie Smollett should cover the costs of what it took the city's police department to investigate his claims that he was the victim of a hate crime after charges against the "Empire" actor were abruptly dropped.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Thursday on WGN Radio that the Chicago Police Department is still trying to finalize how much money was spent on police resources for the investigation and once that figure is determined it will be sent to the city's Corporation Counsel.
"The Corporation Counsel, once they ... feel good about the numbers will then send a letter to Jussie Smollett and his attorneys trying to recoup those costs for the city," he explained.
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The actor's attorneys fired back at Emanuel saying in a statement on Thursday that the Mayor and police department owe Smollett an apology "for dragging an innocent man's character through the mud."
"Jussie has paid enough," his lawyers said.
On Tuesday, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office dropped all charges against Smollett, who was indicted earlier this month on 16 felony counts for allegedly filing a false police report.
Smollett, who is black and gay, told police on Jan. 29 that two masked men hurled racist and homophobic slurs before attacking him, putting a noose around his neck and pouring what he said was bleach on him.
Two brothers, Ola and Abel Osundairo, were arrested during the investigation but later released by police. Smollett, 36, was taken into custody in February after police said he paid the brothers $3,500 via a check to attack him because he was unhappy with his salary on "Empire."
Smollett said during a brief news conference following the charges being dismissed that he has been "truthful" from the beginning.
Mayor Emanuel said Smollett paying the city what it spent during the police probe will, "in a small way," be an acknowledgment from the actor that he is guilty.
"Our officers did a great job. They took a crime that was called a hate crime for sexual orientation and for race. They took it seriously. They dedicated their resources to deal with it, to find out who perpetrated it and we found out that the person calling the police was the perpetrator," he said. "That is what the grand jury believed."
The mayor said since the charges have been dropped, Smollett has shown "no sense of contrite, no remorse, no sense of responsibility" and the city of Chicago deserves answers.
President Donald Trump said in a tweet on Thursday that the FBI and Department of Justice will review Illinois prosecutors' decision to dismiss the charges just weeks after he was indicted on 16 felony counts, calling it "an embarrassment for our Nation!"
Emanuel also lashed out at Trump, saying during a news conference Thursday afternoon that the president shouldn't be weighing in on the Smollett case.
"The only reason Jussie Smollett thought he could take advantage of a hoax about a hate crime is [because of] the toxic environment that Donald Trump created," he said, calling out Trump for drawing a "moral equivalency between people who are trying to perpetuate bigotry and those who are trying to fight bigotry."
"President Trump should literally take his politics, move it aside," he said.