Disgraced “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett claims there is a strong link between the ongoing national protests against police misconduct and his accusations that Chicago police engaged in lying and a cover-up in his case.
According to legal documents obtained by TMZ, Smollett, 37, says what we’re witnessing across the country only confirms his stance that the Chicago Police Department has engaged in a consistent pattern of malfeasance to try to have him indicted and convicted on felony charges.
More specifically, Smollett says the cops are refusing to turn over documents relevant to his case that he believes will help exonerate him.
“As we see millions across the country rise up to protest and expose police misconduct, the City, by its refusal to produce the requested documents, is choosing to actively resist a citizen’s lawful efforts to reveal dishonesty,” the filed documents state.
Smollett says the actions of former Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson — the ex-official who became the public face of the sensationalized investigation of the actor — is particularly relevant. As the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times reported, Johnson was immediately terminated by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot when he was found asleep and intoxicated at the wheel of his car at a stop sign in December 2019. Furthermore, Johnson lied to Lightfoot about why he was caught drunk behind wheel with the car running, revealing several disturbing character flaws.
Johnson even went on major morning news shows, including “Good Morning America,” to champion the prosecution of Smollett, further tainting the potential jury pool against him, the actor claims. With so many hours and money invested, and with the national spotlight on Smollett’s case, Smollett is convinced there was extra incentive to do whatever it took to indict the actor.
“The City and CPD knew Mr. Smollett was innocent, and that the City has relentlessly pursued Mr. Smollett even after the charges against Mr. Smollett were dismissed,” the documents read, according to TMZ.
Smollett originally was indicted last summer on 16 felony charges for allegedly staging a fake homophobic and racist attack in January 2019. After State Attorney Kim Foxx famously dropped all of the charges, a specially appointed prosecutor successfully indicted Smollett earlier this year on six felony charges.