Nearly two months after Jussie Smollett claimed to be the victim of a violent hate crime in Chicago, the Cook County prosecutor issued a stunning new development in court on Tuesday morning. Smollett, who was arrested on felony charges for allegedly filing a false police report (he later pleaded not guilty), will now be cleared on all criminal charges. The Chicago Tribune reported the shocking reversal as it happened:
“We believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case,” a prosecutor said in announcing the dismissal of all 16 counts.
There had been no clue that prosecutors planned the about-face move before the announcement. A publicist for Smollett’s attorney was the first to notify the news media Tuesday morning, issuing an alert that did not elaborate on the nature of the emergency.
Here’s more language from the state’s attorney’s office:
“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.”