Newly released documents on the Jussie Smollett case have revealed that prosecutors told Chicago police detectives that a possible deal with the Empire actor was in the works a month before charges against him were dropped.
The 470 pages of files related to his case, which were only released on Thursday, show detectives investigating Smollett’s claim he was the victim of a hate crime were told by Cook County prosecutors a deal with Smollett could include a $10,000 fine and community service.
Detectives had met with a prosecutor at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office on February 28 to turn over their materials related to the investigation.
‘ASA Lanier informed detectives that she felt the case would be settled with Smollett paying the city of Chicago $10,000 in restitution and doing community service,’ the police report reads.
At the time, Smollett had only been charged with one count of disorderly conduct. A week later, a grand jury charged him on 16 counts of felony disorderly conduct.
Police now say that they were told by Lanier the original deal, for the single count, included an admission of guilt.
When prosecutors decided to drop all 16 charges with no admission of guilt, they were stunned.
The detectives were closing the case at that point because an arrest was made and the alleged offender was being prosecuted, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said on Thursday.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and police Superintendent Eddie Johnson then expressed outrage over the prosecutors’ decision.
At the time, Johnson said he learned of the deal prosecutors made with Smollett when the deal was announced by lawyers, adding he didn’t think justice was being served.
But the documents indicate that his detectives had been told by the prosecutors a few weeks prior.
The detectives had not passed the information to superiors.
‘They didn’t pass it on because they didn’t know it (the case) was going to be handled the way it was,’ the police spokesman said.