It looks like Jussie Smollett (shown), who was charged with 16 felonies in connection with an elaborately staged hate hoax, outsmarted prosecutors.
They dropped all charges against the Empire actor in exchange for a whole two days of “community service” and sacrificing the $10,000 bond he posted to get out of the slammer.
Smollett didn’t quite get away with murder, but he might well become known as the O.J. Simpson of the hate hoaxers.
The cops are furious, and leftist Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the former Obama legman, blasted prosecutors for the egregious abuse in prosecutorial discretion.
Emanuel called it a “whitewash.”
Smollett’s phony tale of woe began with a hate letter from supporters of President Trump. Bearing the ominous return address “MAGA” — Make America Great Again — the envelope contained white powder that turned out to be acetaminophen, an over-the-counter pain reliever, and a threatening message fashioned like a ransom note in cut-out letters: “You will die black f*g.” Smollett is biracial and a homosexual.
A week later, January 29, while returning from Subway after a 2 a.m. munchies run, he claimed, two whites attacked him. “This is MAGA country,” they snarled. “Aren’t you that Empire faggot, n****r!?” They beat him, doused him with bleach, and wrapped a noose around his neck.
As a bewildered country collapsed in sorrow, with former Vice President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and even The Donald himself denouncing the awful attack, gumshoes in the City with Big Shoulders began asking questions.
They pulled video from police and private surveillance cameras, and eventually caught two Nigerian brothers, who said Smollett paid them $3,500 to stage the attack. He promised another $500 afterward. Unfortunately for Smollett, cops not only had the canceled check but also more video that showed the brothers purchasing their hate-hoax supplies.
Police speculate that Smollett was trying to get a raise.
A grand jury returned the 16-felony indictment.
Smollett Not Exonerated
No matter, the prosecutor, Jor Magats, threw in the towel, likely afraid to upset two key parts of the Democratic coalition — black Americans and homosexuals.
Still, the Tribune reported, Magats said the case against Smollett was solid. “The investigation done by CPD and the detectives was outstanding,” Magats told the newspaper. “The fact that the case is disposed of alternatively is not and should not be read as some type of statement that the case is flawed.”
Magats told the Washington Post that his office offered what the Post called “an alternative to prosecution allowable under Illinois statute.”
That apparently explains why Smollett performed two days of “community service” and surrendered 10 percent of the $100,000 bond.
Thus, Smollett has not been exonerated, the Tribune reported, citing a statement from the prosecutor’s office.
Smollett was positively pink. “I have been truthful and consistent on every single level since Day One,” the actor said. “I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I was accused of. This has been an incredibly difficult time, honestly one of the worst of my entire life.”
Smollett’s attorney still claimed he was actually attacked, the Tribune reported. She denied any deal for Smollett’s freedom and voluntarily surrender of the money.
Cops, Mayor Livid
“We all know what occurred this morning,” said Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who roasted the actor in a news conference weeks ago. “Do I think justice was served? No.”
Chicago, the 31-year veteran cop said at a news conference, “is still owed an apology.” Johnson said Smollett avoided a day in court and “chose to hide behind secrecy and broker a deal to circumvent the judicial system.”
Emanuel said the $10,000 Smollett surrendered “doesn’t even come close to what the city spent in resources to actually look over the cameras, gather all the data, gather all the information that actually brought the indictment by the grand jury on many, many multiple different charges.”
Beyond that, he said, “is what I would call the ethical cost.”
Noting that he, as a congressman, pushed hate-crimes legislation through the House of Representatives and into law, Emanuel said Smollett used the law “to self-promote your career” at “a cost that comes to all the individuals,” particularly the designated victims in the Democratic Party. “Gay men and women who will come forward and one day say they were a victim of a hate crime now will be doubted.”
“This is a whitewash of justice,” he said. “The grand jury could not have been clearer.”
“It’s absolutely a punch in the gut,” a lead detective told the Tribune.
Photo of Jussie Smollett: AP Images