We Demand Special Prosecutor Daniel Webb Drop All Criminal Charges Against Jussie Smollett

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We, the undersigned, demand that Cook County special prosecutor Daniel Webb drop all criminal charges against Jussie Smollett for filing a false police report— for which he faces three years in prison if convicted.

The case is full of misconduct by Chicago police, a department legendary for its history of racial terror and cover-up. The trail of wrongdoing is in plain view in police records.

CPD hid evidence to cover up the hate crime against Jussie. They then fabricated evidence and coerced statements to concoct a case against Jussie. Attempting to bolster their credibility, CPD misled the public and launched a vicious smear campaign that was uncritically disseminated by the media.

Within days of the hate attack, CPD reviewed surveillance footage showing two masked men startling a guard outside the Sheraton Hotel as they ran from the scene of the crime. The guard told CPD that one of the men completely covered his face but he could see the other was a white man in his 20s. Also, a neighbor told police that right before the attack she saw a white man with a rope hanging from his pocket outside of Jussie’s apartment building. CPD hid the guard’s and neighbor’s statements from the public.

They also concealed video evidence. More than two weeks after viewing the surveillance video, CPD spokesmen falsely told the public they hadn't found relevant footage. Based on this and other misrepresentations, CPD fabricated a case against Jussie of lying to the police. However, the truth, visible in official records, is that CPD lied.

The entire case hinges on the coerced testimony of the Osundairo brothers who police detained, giving them 48 hours – the maximum suspects may be held without charge – to confess or implicate Jussie. Initially they refused. CPD reports show the brothers also refused to eat and that they “did not trust the police”.

While in custody, the Osundairos sent a message to the public through their lawyer, saying: “They’re really baffled why they are people of interest. …They know that the evidence is going to prove them innocent. They send their best to Jussie.”

But, in the 47th hour, the Osundairos relented, becoming CPD's only witnesses against Jussie. Unsurprisingly, after co-operating and incriminating Jussie, they were released without charges.

It is no wonder the investigation of both the hate crime and fraud case against Jussie Smollett is riddled with deception and misconduct. The people of Chicago have filed more than 560 allegations of misconduct collectively against the very same 38 detectives who were assigned to investigate Jussie Smollett’s case, including falsely arresting dozens of innocent people, planting false evidence, criminal sexual assault, mocking a Black man for his sexual orientation, racist hate speech, bribery, abuse of prisoners, illegally searching innocent people and breaking into their homes, trying to force innocent people to confess to crimes they didn't commit, DUIs, drug misconduct, drug abuse, and excessive force on and off duty.

16 police misconduct lawsuits have been brought against a number of these officers for which Chicago taxpayers paid out almost $7 million in settlement fees.

One of the 38 investigating officers is Richard Hagen, sued for participating in the cover-up of the murder of LaQuan McDonald.

What’s more, former CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who led the Smollett investigation and made several national media appearances, was later fired for lying and other unethical acts.

We believe Jussie, not the Chicago police.

We proudly stand with Jussie Smollett and all others subjected to state-sanctioned violence and repression. The authorities should seriously investigate hate crimes against historically marginalized people. Police should be defunded and public safety reimagined.

We demand that special prosecutor Daniel Webb drop all charges against Jussie Smollett.