When “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett had all 16 felony charges dropped, it was a surprise to everyone, including the prosecution team and mayor. Smollett was charged when he staged a hate crime hoax against himself and lied to police about it. But after an emergency court hearing, the charges were dropped leaving many to feel as if their justice system failed them.
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The issue has garnered so much attention that the FBI has opened an “inquiry” as to why the charges were dropped, ABC News reporter Rob Elgas reported. Elgas tweeted the following: “Two law enforcement officials briefed on the matter tell @ABC the FBI is *reviewing* circumstances surrounding dismissal of criminal charges against Jussie Smollett. ABC News has been told that this is not an investigation. It is a ‘review’ or ‘inquiry’.”
An additional tweet from Elgas could indicate why the FBI is involved. “As the @ABC7Chicago I-Team revealed this morning, records obtained from the Chicago police file on the Smollett case show the FBI was already involved in part of the investigation,” Elgas continued. “In that report it was revealed that CPD forwarded a copy of a search warrant pertaining to Jussie Smollett’s Apple iCloud account to an FBI analyst.”
According to the Daily Wire, the case against Smollett was dropped by the Cook County State Attorney’s office. Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police suggested that there could be some collusion going on.
The group “issued a second letter to the United States Attorney’s office in Chicago, calling for a federal investigation into Kim Foxx’s office, and suggesting that something strange is happening among Chicago’s prosecutors.”
In turn, Foxx rebuked any negative claims pertaining to her decision to drop the charges as she said it was “just…based on the circumstances.”
According to the Chicago Tribue, officials in Foxx’s office gave memos to prosecutors with examples of cases like this where charges were dropped under circumstances similar to Smollett’s. Smollett agreed to forfeit his $10,000 of bond money and do community service, none of which was every put into writing and was done very quickly.