Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a Cook County, Illinois, grand jury has just indicted actor Jussie Smollett on charges related to filing a false police report about a staged hate crime. And yes, it’s the same staged hate crime, not a new one. The one where he claimed that two white racists in MAGA caps who just happened to be carrying rope in subzero Chicago temperatures at 2 a.m. recognized him and launched a homophobic attack. Police later determined the “attackers” were two Nigerian brothers associated with Smollett. They believe the motive was to attain publicity and sympathy that would get him a raise from his TV series “Empire,” at the expense of tarring Trump voters as racist thugs and risking possible violent retribution and racial animosity.
Smollett’s attorneys called the indictment “political” and an affront to justice, but many Americans thought the real affront to justice was when the Cook County prosecutor simply dropped the 16 charges against Smollett, claiming that was standard procedure for a first time offender. The case was assigned to special prosecutor Dan Webb, a former federal prosecutor, who conducted a six month investigation. He said, “The grand jury’s investigation revealed that Jussie Smollett planned and participated in a staged hate crime attack, and thereafter made numerous false statements to Chicago Police Department officers on multiple occasions, reporting a heinous hate crime that he, in fact, knew had not occurred.” Webb also said the county prosecutors were unable to provide any evidence that the previous dismissal was in line with similar cases.
In their defense, I would hope it would be impossible to point to any cases similar to the Jussie Smollett case.