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Mayor and Police Superintendent accused of hypocrisy in Smollett case

Crusader Staff Report

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson are being accused of hypocrisy after they lashed out at prosecutors, who abruptly dropped all 16 charges against Fox “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett on Tuesday, March 26.

The move brought an end to a case that has played out in the national media for the past two months. It has placed Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx under fire and generated negative publicity for her mentor, mayoral candidate Toni Preckwinkle. She faces a tough runoff race to become Chicago’s first Black female mayor.

But the fallout from the case is generating support for Preckwinkle.

Foxx angered the Fraternal Order of Police despite recusing herself from the case after a former aide to Michelle Obama emailed and texted her. The aide expressed concern that the police department was leaking details of the story to the press.

Now, the FOP is requesting a federal investigation into Foxx’s role in a case where a Black man with a clean record was accused of a non-violent crime.

Emanuel, who never came clean in the Laquan McDonald case, went on ABC’s “Good Morning America” the next day, saying Smollett lied about the attack and called out Foxx for her role in the case. He also questioned why Smollett’s court file was sealed and off limits to the public.

The day before, Emanuel said, “This is without a doubt, a whitewash of justice, and sends a clear message that if you’re in a position of influence and power, you’ll get treated one way, [while] other people will be treated another way. There’s no accountability in the system. It is wrong-full stop.”

Then, Emanuel said, “Is there no decency in this man?”

The comments came one day after prosecutors hastily arranged a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courts building. Prosecutors dropped all felony charges of disorderly conduct against Smollett.

Emanuel and Johnson were not informed of the decision before Smollett walked out of the courthouse a free man amid a throng of supporters and journalists. Smollett forfeited his $10,000 bond, which will go to the city’s law department.

Prosecutor Joseph Matts said Smollett performed 16 hours of community service with Reverend Jesse Jackson’s Operation Rainbow PUSH headquarters in Hyde Park.  TMZ reported that Smollett stuffed membership envelo- pes and helped the music director’s plan to build a choir.

Legal analysts are questioning the move and Matts said Foxx’s communication with prominent lawyer Tina Tch- en had nothing to do with his decision to drop the case.

While Emanuel lashed out at the decision, Johnson has stuck to his demands that Smollett apologize to the city after he was indicted for staging an attack with two Black men in Streeterville. Smollett initially drew support from colleagues and residents. That support weakened when police accused the actor of staging the attack in light of evidence they collected during an extensive search that cost the city $150,000.

With little to no protests about the dropped charges against Smollett, Chicago’s Blacks accuse the mayor and police chief of exaggerating the level of anger among city residents. In light of the city’s racial problems, Blacks remain insulted about how much passion both leaders have shown in bringing Smollett to justice as the city’s clearance rate in solving murders remains under 20 percent.

Many went on WVON’s Perri Small show Wednesday to express their anger at Emanuel and Johnson for their treatment of Smollett, and Foxx’s office.

“I’m so disgusted,” said one listener. “I’m so tired of both of them. This city has too many serious problems for them to behave like this.”

For Chicago’s Blacks, the mayor may have reopened old wounds that he caused after he suppressed a police video of the shooting of Laquan McDonald while he was re-elected to a second term with the overwhelming support of Black voters.

During his term in office, Johnson’s police department has been riddled with cases of police misconduct that have put the city in an embarrassing national spotlight. Many Blacks were aghast after Johnson slam- med Smollett on national television, claiming he damaged the reputation of the city with his actions. Johnson still wants Smollett to issue a public apology to Chicago, but Smollett during a press conference maintained his innocence.

“I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I was accused of,” he told reporters outside the courtroom. “I would not bring my family, our lives, or the movement through a fire like this,” he added. “I just would not.”

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