Chicago PD Commander Ed Wodnicki on Tuesday called the decision to dismissed charges against Empire actor Jussie Smollett a “punch in the gut” and said law enforcement was prepared to bring a “rock solid case” against the Fox star.
Chicago PD Commander Ed Wodnicki calls dismissal decision a "punch in the gut," says they were prepared for trial and had a "rock solid case."
"For states attorney at this point to dismiss charges without discussing this with us at all is just shocking," he said. https://t.co/4bipE0mpEK
— Sarah Whitten (@sarahwhit10) March 26, 2019
Prosecutors on Tuesday abruptly dropped all charges against Smollett, defense attorneys said, apparently abandoning the case barely five weeks after the Empire actor was accused of lying to police about being the target of a racist, anti-gay attack in downtown Chicago.
Smollett’s attorneys said his record had “been wiped clean” of the 16 felony counts related to making a false report that he was assaulted by two men. The actor insisted that he had “been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one.”
“I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I was being accused of,” he told reporters after a court hearing. He thanked the state of Illinois “for attempting to do what’s right.”
It was not immediately clear what prompted the decision to dismiss the case. In a statement, the Cook County prosecutors’ office offered no detailed explanation.
“After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollett’s volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his bond to the City of Chicago, we believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case,” the statement from spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said.
Smollett paid $10,000 in bail to get out of jail after his arrest.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.