The news is good for furious Chicago Police, who have released the investigative documents surrounding the fake hate crime.
The charges against Smollett were dropped after the actor forfeited his bail money and did community service. The prosecutor, First Assistant State’s Attorney Joe Magats, said thousands of cases have similar resolutions.
But the sudden dismissal drew the ire of city officials, and the court’s decision to seal the records in the case angered many observers.
And Republican State Representative Michael McAuliffe released a statement on Tuesday announcing plans to introduce legislation this week to prohibit any production with Smollett from receiving the Illinois Film Tax Credits.
“A lot of valuable Chicago Police Department (CPD) man hours and resources were wasted chasing down a bogus crime arranged by Smollett,” McAuliffe said in the statement. “He has cost Chicago a lot more than a $10,000 bond. Smollett should not be able to get anything more from the City of Chicago or Illinois.”
Meantime, Smollett’s attorney, Patricia Brown Holmes, has accused the Chicago Police Department of running a “smear campaign” against her client.
“We are disappointed the local authorities have continued their campaign against Jussie Smollett after the charges against him have been dropped. The facts are clear,” Holmes said in a statement. “The case is closed. No public official has the right to violate Mr. Smollett’s due process rights,”
Chicago police released a portion of their investigative reports on Wednesday, but said there will be no more information to come.
The 61 pages were released in response to Freedom of Information Act requests from the media and do not appear to offer many major revelations about what investigators allege was Smollett’s hoax.
They do, however, shed light on investigators’ interactions with the brothers investigators say participated in staging the attack.
After the documents were made public, the police department was told that it was barred from releasing them by court order, CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said on Twitter.
Although the charges against Smollett were dropped, Foxx said in an interview with CNN affiliate WLS that she had confidence that her office could have proved him guilty.
Just some of the evidence included:
- A $3500 check paid to the two brothers
- A red baseball cap
- A hot sauce bottle
- A weird, hate letter
The Chicago Tribune reported:
Among other evidence discussed in the files was a bottle of El Yucateco brand hot sauce that was found at the scene more than a week after the alleged attack. Detectives showed a photo of the bottle to one of the brothers, who “stated that it appeared to be the bottle he filled with bleach and poured on Smollett,” according to a supplemental report filed earlier this month.
On Feb. 19, another detective interviewed a manager of a TCF Bank branch located in a Jewel grocery store about a $3,500 check written by Smollett that had been deposited by one of the brothers, the records show. Prosecutors later alleged the check — which indicated in the memo line that it was for physical training — was, in fact, payment for carrying out the staged attack.
Police also obtained surveillance footage of the brothers purchasing many of the items they allegedly used in the attack at an Uptown beauty store, according to the reports. Among them were a rope, black masks, hats and gloves, the reports showed.
The fact that this was allowed to go unpunished has infuriated the nation.