An Illinois judge ruled on Friday afternoon for a special prosecutor to look into the handling of the infamous Jussie Smollett hate crime case.
Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx has received heavy criticism for her handling of the Smollett case.
For those who don’t remember, Smollett is the former star of the television series “Empire” and he claimed he was attacked in Chicago by two Trump supporters wearing Make America Great Again hats. He said the men yelled racist and homophobic things at him while they tried to put a noose around his neck and poured bleach down his throat.
Smollett’s story changed several times in interviews about the attack and two men came forward to confess to being hired by Smollett to fake the entire attack.
Cook County Judge Michael Toomin has now decided that the decision to drop the charges against Smollett — which included filing a fake police report — needs some looking into. The judge said in court that Foxx’s mistake was recusing herself from the case and appointing her own deputy to be in charge of the matter. Toomin says Foxx had no right to choose her replacement.
Foxx recused herself from the case and First Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats took over. The criminal charges against Smollett were then dropped with very little explanation. The actor was ordered to do 16 hours of community service and pay a 10,000 dollar fine.
Critics say a state’s attorney from another county should have been appointed in the case to replace Foxx.
Foxx previously said she would be open to an independent probe into her handling of the case by the inspector general, but not a special prosecutor.
A special prosecutor means there is a chance Smollett could be charged again.
Source: Fox News
Toomin said after making the ruling in court on Friday that the new investigation could lead to new prosecutions if that’s where the evidence leads. He said that if there are “reasonable grounds to believe that any other criminal offense was committed … special prosecutor may commence the prosecution of any crime as may be suspected.”
— Megan Crepeau (@crepeau) June 21, 2019
Judge Toomin says the new special prosecutor’s job is to “restore the public’s confidence in the integrity of our criminal justice system.”
Police themselves have said from the beginning that they believe Smollett’s hate crime story to be false.
Chicago Police Chief Communications Officer Anthony Guglielmi tweeted on Friday that police will be fully cooperating with the new special prosecutor.
“We stand firmly behind the work of detectives in investigating the fabricated incident” and will “fully cooperate with the court appointed special prosecutor,” he tweeted.
We stand firmly behind the work of detectives in investigating the fabricated incident reported by Jussie Smollett & #ChicagoPolice will fully cooperate with the court appointed special prosecutor. pic.twitter.com/bCDF0NYfzP
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) June 21, 2019
Foxx has also stood by her handling of the case. She even at one point theorized that “racism” is behind people criticizing her role in the non-prosecution of Smollett.
“I’ve been asking myself for the last two weeks what is this really about,” she said, adding, “As the first African American woman in this role, it’s disheartening to me.”
Check out her full comments below:
Kim Foxx suggests racism behind criticism of her dropping all charges against @JussieSmollett:
“I've been asking myself for the last two weeks what is this really about. … As the first African American woman in this role, it's disheartening to me" the goalposts have shifted. pic.twitter.com/Z5dLAVdUW7
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) April 7, 2019
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