Charges Dropped Against Jussie Smollett

Prosecutors in Chicago today dropped all charges against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett, who had been charged with 16 felonies for allegedly directing a hate crime against himself.

Jussie continues to maintain his innocence. The AP has a curious statement in its article:

It was not immediately clear what prompted the decision to dismiss the case. Typically, a minimum condition of dropping cases is some acceptance of responsibility.

That's obviously wrong. It suggests that cases are never dropped because police make mistakes and the defendant is innocent. Why would a person who has been falsely charged accept responsibility for anything? Shouldn't the police or DA be accepting responsibility for rushing to judgment and filing charges it decides a few weeks later it cannot prove? Innocence may or may not be why Smollet's charges were dropped, but it is a reason many other people's charges are dropped. Not everyone who is arrested and charged is guilty.

There is no statement by the DA's office that they dropped the case because Jussie is innocent. [More...]

“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 agreed to forfeit his $10k bail and had already done his community service. But this was not a plea bargain. His lawyers said in a prepared statement (no link due to auto-play video):

"Today, all criminal charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and his record has been wiped clean of the filing of this tragic complaint against him. Jussie was attacked by two people he was unable to identify on January 29th. He was a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator as a result of false and inappropriate remarks made to the public, causing an inappropriate rush to judgment."

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    Why are so many people (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Repack Rider on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 08:25:23 PM EST
    ...So freaking excited and angry about a misdemeanor.  OJ got away with murder, and wasn't reviled by the Right as much as Smollett has been.

    This doesn't even reach the level of any number of misdemeanor events involving wife-beating, drunk in public, shoplifting and reckless driving celebrities who were never charged. Frank Sinatra was famous for punching people. Mel Gibson has a long string of more serious public failures than Smollett's.

    I'm starting to think that the fact that the guy is BLACKITY BLACK explains the right wing outrage over a minor crime that he must be presumed innocent of, until charged and proven guilty in a court of law.

    I actually agree with McBain here, that we must reserve judgment until the facts are in, just as we would after viewing a YouTube video of a police officer gunning down an unarmed, fleeing black man who has been accused of a traffic offense.

    The Right thinks this is a serious matter, while (my anecdotal survey indicates, based on Internet comments) the Left laughs at the Right for thinking that. So far I haven't found a single liberal who cares about this, other than the enjoyment of seeing Smollett "own the right."


    I made some comments (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 08:41:55 PM EST
    I was reproached for.  I care about it.  I said if he did it there should be consequences.   And I still think so.  That said, a dozen counts carrying 4 years each or what ever they came up with I called major over kill.

    As to why him and not OJ, who can say.  Well, he is gay AND black.  Maybe that's it.


    This is Chicago, (none / 0) (#47)
    by KeysDan on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 10:48:45 AM EST
    and events such as this need to take into account political context.  Next Tuesday is the mayoral run-off between Lori Lightfoot (age 56) and Toni Preckwinkle (age 72).  

    If elected, Lighfoot would be the first black gay women to serve as the City's mayor.  Moreover, Lightfoot is the "young" reformer and Attorney who served as president of Chicago Police Board--a police oversight group, that went against police department orthodoxy.  And, she ran afoul of Mayor Emmanuel over matters related to that Board.

    Toni Preckwinkle, if elected would also be the first black women to serve as mayor, but as long-time Alderwoman and current president of the powerful Cook County Board, she will rock no boats and is a good back- up to the defeat in the primary of the favored candidate, Bill Daley,

    She is the safer choice for the old Daley machine.  She has offered a spot for patronage, whereas Lightfoot has capitalized on corruption such as the arrest of the locally infamous Alderman Burke---a Trump tax fixer for his Chicago property.

    So, black and gay.  Lori and Jusse.  


    If Lori wins (none / 0) (#48)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 10:56:06 AM EST
    Pete's stock might just go up

    Mayor Pete (none / 0) (#65)
    by KeysDan on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 06:18:09 PM EST
    is scheduled for Maher's Show March 29th.  Top of the show interview.

    Because Trump's own behavior isn't? (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 03:21:47 AM EST

    Just guessing. National Yahoo's Byron York blew a gasket today over the Jussie Smollett decision. He was probably already in a bad mood because right after AG Bill Barr announced his summary exoneration of Boss Trump yesterday, he threw out his back while spiking the football.



    It has (none / 0) (#32)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 08:29:41 PM EST
    to do with their MAGA obsession because Smollett was attempting to make magats look bad. Like they needed Smollett with all the magat bombers and mass murders out there recently.

    That too (none / 0) (#34)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 08:42:13 PM EST
    I agree. (none / 0) (#49)
    by Chuck0 on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 11:16:16 AM EST
    This story, considering all that is happening, holds 0 interest to me.

    The only real downside is the future believability of real future victims. The right will swing this incident like a hammer.


    I wrote off (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by Repack Rider on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 08:53:45 PM EST
    Rahm Emmanuel as a Democrat and as a human being, when he covered up the murder of Laquan McDonald for a year. McDonald was shot 16 times, most of the wounds occurring after he was on the ground.

    The officer who shot him is the first Chicago police officer convicted of murder in decades. It was only the video that Emmanuel tried to suppress that put him in prison.

    We need to purge the party of these detestable fake Democrats.

    As Bob Dylan put it, "I'm liberal, but to a degree..."

    He Also Hasn't Done a GD Thing... (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 09:59:37 AM EST
    ...with the Homan Square police facility.

    I think the D behind his name actually stands for despicable.


    Rahmbo's done. (none / 0) (#41)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 03:29:33 AM EST
    We already know that the next mayor of Chicago will be a black woman, which will hopefully bring about a long-overdue change in both tone and policy at City Hall.

    This is far from over (none / 0) (#1)
    by ragebot on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 01:37:28 PM EST
    the feds have not completed (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 01:43:21 PM EST
    their examination of the letter to opine on who wrote or sent it. The cops are angry, but I do think this is the end of the matter. The prosecutor, Kim Fox, recused herself after receiving the contact from Tina Chen. She did not make the decision to drop the case.

    make that Tina Tchen (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 01:43:54 PM EST
    The question is (none / 0) (#6)
    by ragebot on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 02:27:48 PM EST
    who made the decision and why; not to mention why the judge sealed everything.

    The LEOs and the mayor seem to feel dissed.  They claim there is a lot more evidence that would make the case a slam dunk.  To make matters worse Smollett is still claiming he is the aggrieved party and is not taking any responsibility.

    There seems to be no doubt the two brothers/friends/personal trainers are the ones who attacked Smollett; be it a staged attack or not; unless they are lying out of their teeth and subject to a lot of charges.

    Maybe the most important issue from the big picture view is the damage this has done to those who are the real vics of this type of think.  It strains credibility to think Smollett was the vic of an attack based on his race/sexual orientation/politics; not to mention lots of questions about who we now know are his attackers.  They are not white/MAGA hat wearers/pubs.

    Bottom line is Smollett was attacked (staged or not) by black peeps he knew and had a long relationship with and lied to the police about it.  Not he seems to want to buy his way out of it and ignore the massive damage it has caused.

    I still claim it is not going away any time soon.


    Why do you say "peeps"? (4.00 / 2) (#8)
    by McBain on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 02:36:58 PM EST
    "people" is only one more letter.  I get "dems" but "peeps" is a bit much, IMO.  

    As for this case, in addition to my questions about his community service and bond, I'm curious why the judge sealed the case? Is that common?  


    Love the 4 (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 04:37:59 PM EST

    Lifting my career average above the (none / 0) (#26)
    by McBain on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 07:04:25 PM EST
    That was funny (none / 0) (#27)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 07:05:59 PM EST
    A letter saved (none / 0) (#13)
    by ragebot on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 03:59:49 PM EST
    is a letter earned.

    I try and minimize the number of zeros and ones I create.


    I don't understand the community service (none / 0) (#4)
    by McBain on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 01:49:29 PM EST
    and bond forfeiture parts. When did he do the service and why would he not want his money back?

    Hopefully, this will make for an interesting documentary someday.

    See my comment (none / 0) (#10)
    by Peter G on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 02:48:34 PM EST
    #9 below.

    Joe Magats, the first assistant state's attorney who made the final decision to drop the charges against Jussie Smollett, says in an interview: "We didn't exonerate him."

    Here's the thing -- we work to prioritize violent crime and the drivers of violent crime. Public safety is our number one priority. I don't see Jussie Smollett as a threat to public safety."

    "We stand behind the investigation, we stand behind the decision to charge him and we stand behind the charges in the case. The mere fact that it was disposed of in an alternative manner does not mean that there were any problems or infirmities in the case or the evidence."

    The bond forfeiture and the ADA's comment (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Peter G on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 02:47:16 PM EST
    "disposed of in an alternate manner" both support my hypothesis, expressed in the open thread earlier, that they reached an agreement for deferment of prosecution a/k/a pretrial diversion, perhaps with a mental health condition. Perhaps under this program.  

    Seems reasonable. (none / 0) (#11)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 03:02:13 PM EST
    My theory also makes sense of the DA's (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Peter G on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 05:12:10 PM EST
    invocation of Smollett's past record of volunteer community service as being relevant to their decision to drop the charges.

    What I don't understand (none / 0) (#12)
    by ragebot on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 03:58:22 PM EST
    is why Smollett is allowed deferment without admitting guilt.  He has loudly and longly maintained that he is innocent and has done nothing wrong.

    My work with the VA mental health peeps has established in my mind that the first step in dealing with a problem is admitting you have a problem.  Smollett still is publicly maintaining he is a vic.

    I still think a lot of dems are unhappy with him because of the damage he has done to vics who have really told the truth.

    Just as an aside that DPP does not really seem to be more effective than alternatives.


    Some state and local diversion programs (5.00 / 4) (#17)
    by Peter G on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 04:53:43 PM EST
    require an admission of guilt, and some do not. There are arguments both ways on which is the better program design. No idea what the norm is in Chicago.
      This is the last time, by the way, that I plan to respond to any comment that uses the ridiculous term "peeps."

    Oh (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 04:56:39 PM EST
    I (none / 0) (#19)
    by FlJoe on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 05:04:53 PM EST
    suppose this rules out cute stories about baby birds, and darn it, I had a bunch saved up for Easter.

    As ChuckO can verify (none / 0) (#21)
    by Peter G on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 05:14:35 PM EST
    we do need to respect local industry in our part of the country.

    May I just say (none / 0) (#22)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 05:16:54 PM EST
    "Just Born" jelly beans is a revolting name.

    The history of the name (none / 0) (#30)
    by Peter G on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 07:42:16 PM EST
    Ok (none / 0) (#35)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 08:44:00 PM EST
    But about a second line



    Peeps was the word in Brazillia (none / 0) (#23)
    by fishcamp on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 06:11:03 PM EST
    that our Brazilian taxi driver used for people.  At first we thought it was funny, but finally decided it was stupid.  He spoke fair English so I explained it to him to no avail.  BTW Brazillia, the capital, is a horrible city with very ugly buildings.

    Isn't that (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by Peter G on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 10:37:23 PM EST
    "Brasilia"? Or are you refering to the place where Brasilia meets Godzilla?

    Brazil vs Brasil (none / 0) (#105)
    by fishcamp on Mon Apr 08, 2019 at 08:53:34 AM EST
    After looking around and speaking to relatives in Florianopolis, Brazil, it appears only the Portuguese folks use the Brasil spelling.  The rest of the world uses the Brazil spelling.  I'm sure there are exceptions to this.

    Spanish World Also Uses Brasil (none / 0) (#106)
    by RickyJim on Mon Apr 08, 2019 at 10:19:48 AM EST
    Brazil is used in 12 of 47 countries. (none / 0) (#107)
    by fishcamp on Mon Apr 08, 2019 at 10:43:19 AM EST
    There are other countries with their mysterious script that I was unable to decipher.  What this tells me is we are all correct, and that is good.

    But we were not speaking of Brazil, the nation (none / 0) (#108)
    by Peter G on Tue Apr 09, 2019 at 09:11:29 AM EST
    but of Brasilia, the capital city. I don't think there is an alternate spelling for the city name.

    Way OT but (none / 0) (#69)
    by ragebot on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 09:52:28 PM EST
    even to this day every time I hear the name Brazillia I am reminded of the movie "That Man From Rio".  It two leads Jean-Paul Belmondo and Françoise Dorléac were delightful in one of the classic spoofs of the James Bond movies.  As Belmondo followed Dorléac from Rio to Brazillia in a stolen car that had to be seen to be believed he was stopped by the federal police.  Wishing to be arrested Belmondo said 'I entered the country illegally with a stolen airplane ticket, I stole this car, and am the worst criminal from Rio to Brazillia' at which point the police man said 'Si, Brazillia, 35 kilometers' and pointed him in the right direction.  Adding star power to the cast was Adolfo Celi who played villains in over 100 movies including the Bond movie Thunderball.

    While Belmondo went on to be one of the most famous of the New Wave actors sadly Dorléac (who was the elder sister of the much more famous Catherine Fabienne Dorléac  known professionally as Catherine Deneuve) died only three years after the movie was made at the age of 25.

    Just my two cents but the 1960s produced some of my favorite movies.


    But wait! (none / 0) (#28)
    by Zorba on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 07:07:06 PM EST
    Peeps are also those disgusting marshmallow chicks, etc.

    See my comment (none / 0) (#29)
    by Peter G on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 07:23:22 PM EST

    Not meaning to dis (none / 0) (#42)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 08:04:56 AM EST
    A Pennsylvania company, but I don't like any of their candies. ;-)

    Goldenberg's Peanut Chews (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Peter G on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 09:16:00 AM EST
    are pretty good. Less buttery and less sugary chocolate than Hershey's.

    DPP is unclear (none / 0) (#39)
    by maxparrish on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 02:31:06 AM EST
    As I stated elsewhere, if this is a DPP its not the program listed by the prosecutors office.

    1. There is supposed to be a trial day FIRST.
    2. The charges are NOT dropped initially.
    3. The Victim of the crime (the City of Chicago) has to agree to the program.
    4. The defendant has to attend court every three months for a hearing.
    5. The defendant, over the year, does community Svc.
    6. The defendant reimburses all the victims of their losses, including the courts and police.
    7. AFTER one year, the defendant attends court, then the charges are dropped and the record expunged.

    So far, all we know is Smollet may have done CSvc somewhere unknown between indictment and dismissal, the charges have already been dismissed, no reimbursement is due, the victim of the hoax did not give permission for the deal, and the record is supposedly expunged and sealed.

    WTF? Come on guys, this smells like a  pile of 3-day old dead fish in a Georgia summer sun.


    Alternative Sentencing does not add up...? (none / 0) (#37)
    by maxparrish on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 10:29:15 PM EST
    I'm not sure that adds up...

    First, under that program is 'deferred' prosecution actually treated a dismissal of all charges? The dismissal sounds premature...and under double jeopardy irrevocable.

    Second, under the program the victim of the crime is supposed to agree to the deferral. As the victim was either the Chicago PD or the City of Chicago, by all accounts they did not agree.

    Third, "the defendants accept the conditions of the 12-month, DPP program during" during which they have to make court appearances every 3 months. After the initial trial, defendants are assigned to a pretrial services officer and must meet with their assigned officer monthly. For certain offenses, defendants are required (to make) a full restitution to the victim or property owner, and community service participation."

    "At the end of the program, defendants' felony charges are dismissed, and they can then have their records expunged"

    If Smolett is under this program its been mangled.


    You are expending a lot of words, Max (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Peter G on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 09:21:06 AM EST
    on demonstrating that the apparent diversion deal is not under the rules of a particular program. It still seems like a reasonable disposition to me, and not worthy of all the loudly expressed outrage. (As for "victim" approval, I doubt very much that an arm of the prosecutorial wing of the government is considered a "victim" under any law, rule or program that promises victim input into prosecutorial discretionary decisions, or any other "victims' rights.")

    The Washington Post has a good explanation (none / 0) (#56)
    by Peter G on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 02:20:05 PM EST
    Behind a Paywall (none / 0) (#62)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 03:40:52 PM EST
    And I was looking forward to reading it.

    Token Punishment of Smollett is not Justified (none / 0) (#66)
    by maxparrish on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 08:31:20 PM EST
    Perhaps more words than intended, but none of them undeserved. "A reasonable disposition" is not to be found in favoritism or avoidance of even basic  requirements and penalties.

    The WP minimizes Smollett's actions as if it were simple case of filing a false report, as if it were on a trespass or missing bike.

    However, the nature of Smollett's actions was a grand conspiratorial hoax, carried out with friends, keeping a City and a nation enthralled and police busy for weeks looking for fictional violent attackers. Be it fake kidnappings or fake assaults, 2 days of community service is a farce.

    I think it obvious that the City of Chicago, as both a municipal corporation and as a community was the victim of this hoax - and it resulted substantial in monetary costs to the City. All of which goes uncompensated by the well heeled actor.

    Why you don't think paying back the City of Chicago for its investigative costs, or requiring the hoaxer to meet program requirements like the rest of us would (and with more than a token two days) is, at a minimum, a reasonable disposition - well, only you and the WP know.


    Well, I guess if you think it is obvious (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Peter G on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 08:48:02 PM EST
    then that settles it.

    Problem is Smollett is not a nobody (none / 0) (#7)
    by ragebot on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 02:34:12 PM EST
    The massive initial coverage by the MSM and later walking it back caused damage to the idea that people were being attacked for their race/sexual orientation/politics.  It made it much easier to make the argument that those type of claims were fake.

    There is also the issue of how much it costs to investigate Smollett's claim.  Talking heads are saying $US10,000 would not cover a single day's costs.

    To a lot of folks, including the mayor and LEOs, it looks like Smollett got off with a slap on the wrist; not to mention the possible involvement of big money influence on the SA.

    Maybe you could sweep this under the rug if it was a nobody but given how high profile Smollett is it will be a real black eye for the SA.


    Imo (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by CST on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 04:04:50 PM EST
    We should not make scapegoats of famous people just because they are famous.    That's not justice.

    The LEOs involved (none / 0) (#15)
    by ragebot on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 04:24:27 PM EST
    claim if Smollett was a nobody he would be in jail right now.  Same thing for the mayor.  A lot of money was spent investigating what happened.  There seems to be little doubt what Smollett claimed happened is not true and he has shown no remorse for his claims even when there is not much doubt they are false.

    I get your point but by the very nature of being famous Smollett caused more damage than if he was not famous so I have no problem with the problems he now has.


    Good lord. (4.20 / 5) (#25)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 06:32:54 PM EST
    Smollett getting away with this stupid stunt bothers you more than Trump being helped by a foreign enemy in an election. You are acting like a white supremacist who does not like it when a person of color gets a light sentence but a white person completely skates.

    Are there actual quotes (none / 0) (#24)
    by jondee on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 06:28:11 PM EST
    available from the LEOs who were involved?

    See my comment (none / 0) (#38)
    by ragebot on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 01:35:30 AM EST
    #1 with links to dems including the mayor of Chicago and the police super; both bashing Smollett.  The mayor said it was a whitewash and the police chief demanded Smollett come clean.

    In addition the FOP is calling for an investigation.  There are way too many links for me to include all but is should be obvious to anyone paying attention that the dems are forming a circular firing squad.


    He was a "nobody" to me until (none / 0) (#51)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 01:09:11 PM EST
    the alleged assault was publicized.

    In that case (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by Repack Rider on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 02:10:36 PM EST
    He's back to being "nobody" again, right?

    Nobody got really hurt, so it's a misdemeanor false police report, about the same level of seriousness of a DUI.


    I agree. However, (none / 0) (#52)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 01:45:12 PM EST
    it seems like hoaxers generally get a free pass, despite the understandable exasperation others have toward the hoaxer.

    For example, Crystal Mangum, the Duke lacrosse hoaxer, was never charged w/respect to her hoax, afaik.


    Charles Dawson (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by Repack Rider on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 02:12:33 PM EST
    ...got away with the Piltdown Man hoax.

    It happens.


    The way this country's going (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by jondee on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 03:25:19 PM EST
    if they did another War of the Worlds broadcast, it would cause more hysteria than it did in 1938.

    That actually (none / 0) (#61)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 03:31:31 PM EST
    A terrifying thought.  It totally would.

    The Cardiff Giant (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by jondee on Thu Mar 28, 2019 at 01:26:40 AM EST
    another oldie but goody.

    It's interesting that the hoax-obsessed right-wing has finally bumblingly stumbled across an actual hoax and now they can barely contain themselves about it.

    As if this tempest-in-a-teapot somehow miraculously vindicated their entire worldview.


    Way To Easy... (none / 0) (#76)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Mar 28, 2019 at 01:06:56 PM EST
    ...but there is this group that believes a woman can get pregnant without intercourse, that a dead guy can come back to life, and that if you comment acts the group disagrees with you will literally burn forever some where in middle Earth.

    They can literally molest their children and their followers will continue to support and send them billions every year to keep perpetrating the biggest hoax ever inflicted on the human race.

    To date, no one had ever been convicted of a crime related to this massive fraud that includes the murders of hundreds of thousand of people, maybe even millions.


    A bit before my time, but sure, (none / 0) (#57)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 02:25:57 PM EST
    another example to support my point.

    Perhaps we need to define (none / 0) (#59)
    by jondee on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 03:08:02 PM EST
    our terms more clearly.

    Is it considered a "hoax" when a  coordinated group of individuals, some of whom are well-known, claim to have irrefutable evidence for things like Pizzagate and Sandy Hook "crisis actors"?


    She went on to kill someone (none / 0) (#58)
    by McBain on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 03:03:49 PM EST
    You can't lock people up (none / 0) (#64)
    by Repack Rider on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 04:58:09 PM EST
    ...for a crime they will commit in the future.

    (Despite the Tom Cruise film, Minority Report.)


    Based on a story by (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Peter G on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 08:45:43 PM EST
    the late, great Philip K. Dick.

    Found a list of some other examples (none / 0) (#73)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Mar 28, 2019 at 11:43:48 AM EST
    of somewhat similar hoaxes. All of the hoaxers went to trial, for one thing or another.

    Susan Smith, white chick, false claim of kidnapping by a black guy, 1994. Sadly, the false claim was to cover up her murder of her two kids. Convicted, life, possibility of parole in 2024.

    Ashley Todd, white McCain supporter woman, false claim of political assault by black Obama supporter guy, 2008. Convicted of false police report, probation.

    Yasmin Seweid, muslim woman, false claim of attack by three non-muslim men, 2016. Convicted, six months of counseling and three days of community service.

    Tyler Barriss, false claim of a hostage situation, 2017. No racial aspect. Sadly, the police shot and killed the guy falsely accused by Barriss of taking him hostage. Pled guilty to 51 charges, many of which were not associated with the false charge. A straight up nut job. Awaiting  sentencing.


    Susan Smith story (none / 0) (#74)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 28, 2019 at 11:54:27 AM EST
    When this happened I was working at Digital Domain in Venice.  We were still a pretty small and tightly knit group.  There had been a recent hire of a total psycho woman that was pretty much universally reviled.

    The day of this story, there was a tv in the kitchen, people were standing around having gathered as crowd hearing a name we were "familiar" with.

    "Wow, I didn't even know she had kids"

    "Me either.  But tell me you are surprised"

    "Not surprised"

    At which point Susan Smith walks up.  "Wassup?"

    People quietly return to work.


    In the mid-90's (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Mar 28, 2019 at 12:26:07 PM EST
    DD was one of my customers.

    While we're at it (none / 0) (#77)
    by Repack Rider on Thu Mar 28, 2019 at 01:48:20 PM EST
    Don't forget Charles Stuart, who killed his wife in Boston and then blamed in on a "black man."

    So a black man with a record and a drug problem, who fit the general description ("black guy, six feet tall, hoodie") was arrested and put through the wringer to make him "confess."  

    But Stuart's brother dropped a dime on him. Stuart knew he was busted, and killed himself, saving the state hundreds of thousands of dollars on top of the hundreds of hours of police time spent finding and abusing the innocent (of that, at least) black man.


    From Charles Stuart's wiki:

    The Washington Post described the situation: "The city's anger seems inexhaustible. That may be because it is impossible not to feel sullied by the Stuart case. Either one was duped by a fabrication with racist overtones, or one was impotent as police focused their investigation on a succession of innocent black men."

    Maybe this helps you understand why, similarly, some folks, on both sides of the issue, are invested in the Smollett affair.


    Apples (5.00 / 3) (#80)
    by Repack Rider on Thu Mar 28, 2019 at 07:09:08 PM EST
    and oranges.

    Nobody got killed in Chicago.  The Stuart case was about MURDER.


    And causing an innocent person to be (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by Peter G on Thu Mar 28, 2019 at 08:10:20 PM EST
    arrested and prosecuted. In a racially targeted way.

    why did you add it to my list of "somewhat similar hoaxes?"

    Actually, never mind. I don't want to see your contortions.


    I have no idea what you are talking about (none / 0) (#90)
    by Repack Rider on Fri Mar 29, 2019 at 03:32:07 PM EST
    I wonder whether you do.

    Sadly I think you are being honest (1.00 / 2) (#91)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Mar 29, 2019 at 04:39:14 PM EST
    when you say you have no idea what I'm talking about. Reading is fundamental.

    Bribery ? (none / 0) (#46)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 10:16:27 AM EST
    Somewhat related.  
    I received a speeding ticket, first one in like 10 years, a couple weeks ago.
    My options:
    • Pay $109 & Take Defensive Driving
    • Pay $209
    • Pay $399 & have the ticket removed off your record (deferred adjudication)
    • Set court date

    I looked at my options, then I asked my wife to look, and she started laughing, 'That's bribery' she said and I was like, I know, if you got the means you can make it disappear.

    We never had this option in Wisconsin.
    I had a friend with a felony charge of possessing a dangerous drug(a couple Valium) in Texas.  He paid a couple grand I believe and received deferred adjudication and so long as he didn't get caught with drugs in the same city/county for 6 months it would totally disappear off his record.

    How is this not bribery, people with means gets crimes removed form their records.  I know it's common, and obviously if I ever had the change outside of a traffic ticket, I would use it, but it just doesn't seem right.

    Same for Smollett, he just pays $10k and it's like it never happened.  It's a way for the privileged to not face the consequences of their actions.  Obviously in this case, we don't know what the actual deal is or the truth for that matter, but if it goes down like it appears now, he simply purchased himself out of trouble, and if this was Mexico we would definitely call it a bribe.

    It was bail money is my understanding (none / 0) (#50)
    by vicndabx on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 11:25:23 AM EST
    not like he just paid $10K and they said ok, go home.

    The state kept it.


    I don't see how pointing out that the money (none / 0) (#55)
    by Peter G on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 02:13:49 PM EST
    was posted as bail helps explain anything. Smollett didn't violate the terms of his bond, so agreeing to let the City/County/State/whatever keep the funds is no different from paying a fine, or restitution, or the fee for entering a diversion program, or whatever label they put on the payment to justify it.

    My county... (none / 0) (#63)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 03:47:27 PM EST
    does the same traffic court shakedown. I didn't know whether to call it bribery or extortion...but nevertheless I took Option C and paid the larger sum to make it disappear.  I figured it was better than sitting through that boring-arse driving course or seeing how bad the auto insurance co would f*ck me for the points when it was time to renew.

    It's unsavory when the criminal and traffic code is used to generate revenue that should instead be generated by property/sales/income taxes.  Cuz if it was really about safety on the road and order in the land, there would be no such bribery/extortion option.  In addition to your point to how it sticks it the poor while those with means can skate if they pay the piper.  


    End results (none / 0) (#72)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Mar 28, 2019 at 01:57:08 AM EST
    This is how you get Ferguson and Eric Garner where the police are in the revenue raising business.

    Chicago Tribune is reporting (none / 0) (#79)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Mar 28, 2019 at 02:18:39 PM EST
    that Foxx did not formarly recuse herself.

    It just gets stranger (none / 0) (#82)
    by ragebot on Thu Mar 28, 2019 at 08:12:07 PM EST
    Smollett's attorney is claiming the two black guys were wearing "white face" to explain why Smollett said they were white.

    Rahm is sending him a bill for $US130,000 and change and says he will bring charges if it is not paid.

    Let's Be Honest... (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 29, 2019 at 09:25:17 AM EST
    ...the only thing really strange about this case is the right wing fixation on proper law & order over someone lying about being attacked, while seemingly not caring about the Commander in Chief lying about others committing serious crimes.

    If only the GOP could hold republicans as accountable as they hold everyone else...

    FYI, the Daily Mail is like 4 steps below the National Equirer in the realm of facts.  One has to wonder what could you have been reading that linked to such obvious non-sense ?

    Here are a couple fine stories from your source:

    Woman, 63, 'becomes PREGNANT in the mouth' with baby squid after eating calamari

    'Quadrupeds? No. But if it looks human...': Man who infamously had sex with a dolphin reviews The Shape of Water and laments that society only accepts interspecies relationships when they're fictionalized

    They're looking a bit wooden! Incredible pictures show sheds and outbuildings which look like hosts and presenters from hit TV show The Voice

    The little credibility you once had just keeps slipping away.

    I understand Rahm's frustration (none / 0) (#83)
    by McBain on Thu Mar 28, 2019 at 09:37:45 PM EST
    but if the charges were dropped I think he needs to leave Smollett alone and, perhaps, focus on the people who decided 10K and token community service was enough.

    Rahm doesn't care about Jussie Smollett (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by caseyOR on Fri Mar 29, 2019 at 10:40:04 AM EST
    because he views sees as a miscarriage of justice. Rahm is throwing this extended tantrum because he sees some political payoff in it. Rahm has never shown this kind of anger over the many cases of police misconduct. The shootings. The evidence planting. Human Square. All far more egregious than what Smollett is accused of. All far more damaging to the reputation, liveability and finances of Chicago.

    KeysDan posted a comment explaining the lay of the political land in the Chicago mayoral race. A Preckwinkle win would let Rahm hold on to influence even though he will be out of office. A Lightfoot win pushes him farther to the sidelines.

    As to the attacks on Kim Foxx, it is important to remember that she won a landslide victory over the previous state's attorney in the wake of the Laquan McDonald killing by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke and the subsequent coverup by both the police and Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, Rahm hates Foxx. The police hate Foxx. Smollett gives them a convenient cudgel.


    He needs to leave the prosecutors alone, (none / 0) (#84)
    by Peter G on Thu Mar 28, 2019 at 10:03:24 PM EST
    too, unless there is some basis for a bribery, improper influence, or other corruption investigation. Which would not be for the mayor to probe anyway, but rather for the State AG or conceivably the FBI.

    There are reports (none / 0) (#85)
    by ragebot on Fri Mar 29, 2019 at 01:40:53 AM EST
    that Foxx did not follow the law that requires the appointment of a special prosecutor if the SA recuses.  There is also a question about her actually recusing; when she may have just said she was recusing.

    Foxx has made the claim that thousands of low level cases were handled like Smollett's case; but it turns out she sent out a memo to her ASAs asking for examples of similar treatment.  So far none have showed up.

    The FBI is investigating the case and Rahm has asked the State AG to look into the matter.  Rahm has said Trump should not get involved but his position on the FBI investigating is not clear to me.

    A lot of this would probably go away if Smollett came clean about what happened; but he keeps insisting he is the vic and did nothing wrong.


    "There are reports" (5.00 / 3) (#86)
    by Repack Rider on Fri Mar 29, 2019 at 08:48:41 AM EST
    "People are saying.  The best people."

    SNL (none / 0) (#92)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Apr 01, 2019 at 12:44:51 PM EST
    Not sure if this will initiate any changes (none / 0) (#93)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Apr 04, 2019 at 01:37:24 PM EST
    The abrupt end of the Jussie Smollett prosecution was the "straw that broke the camel's back" for a group of suburban police chiefs set to gather Thursday afternoon with members of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police to announce a "no confidence" vote in the leadership of Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx.

    Please... (5.00 / 5) (#94)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Apr 04, 2019 at 02:42:03 PM EST
    This is where they are drawing the line in the sand ?  Jussie Smollett.

    Talk about America's most entitled group not dealing well with not getting their way.  I guess Fox News is got them all worked about minorities and how good they have it Amerika.

    "The abrupt dropping of the 16 indictments against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett during an unannounced court hearing on March 26, 2019, is the latest and most egregious example of the failure by you and your staff to hold offenders accountable," Mellema states in the letter.

    Sorry, but if Smollett is the 'most egregious example' your DA is doing alright.  While I disagree with what the DA did, on scale of 1 to 10 for egregious, that is like a 1.2

    The horror:

    One of the biggest problems for the police chiefs is squaring how arrests for certain crimes that are on the books in Illinois -- such as marijuana and shoplifting -- do not result in prosecutions by Foxx's office.

    If you have to end your argument about the DA not doing their job with 'crimes that are on the books' you already lost the argument.  

    I can't believe a Police Chief would argue, with a straight face, that their biggest problem is DA's not prosecuting petty crimes, crimes that result in fines, not jail time.


    Ya, probably some bruised egos in the mix. (none / 0) (#95)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Apr 04, 2019 at 03:02:40 PM EST
    But to be expected, I guess, with all the media coverage.

    Priorities (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 04, 2019 at 03:46:51 PM EST
    Just seems a strange choice of straws

    A drop in homicides in Chicago alone accounted for a majority of the national decline in killings in 2017, recently released FBI statistics show.

    The FBI reported a total of 17,284 murders across the U.S. in 2017, down from 17,413 total murders reported in 2016. That's a net decrease of 129 murders across the country from 2016 to 2017. Eighty-six percent of that decrease can be attributed to Chicago specifically, which saw 112 fewer murders in 2017 compared to 2016.



    Ya, like I said, probably some (none / 0) (#97)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Apr 04, 2019 at 04:13:02 PM EST
    bruised egos due to media coverage.

    fwiw (none / 0) (#101)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Apr 05, 2019 at 02:12:42 PM EST
    The Jussie Smollett case was the 'tip of the iceberg' in regard to mishandlings by Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx, according to Chicago Police Union President Kevin Graham, who has joined a chorus of those calling for her resignation.

    Graham said during an appearance on "America's Newsroom" on Friday that Foxx's shocking decision to drop all 16 charges against Jussie Smollett last week represents a trend by the State's Attorney of choosing not to pursue felony charges.

    "We have had problems getting felony charges approved for battery to police officers," Graham said. "I've had officers, in my office, where their kneecaps were broken, where their fingertips were nearly bit off, and we can't get felony charges approved on this."

    "We're saying: this is enough," Graham continued.

    He goes on to say that Chicago is a very tolerant city and that he/they were very offended that someone would claim that they were attacked due to the color of their skin or sexual orientation.


    Since we don't have an open thread (none / 0) (#98)
    by McBain on Fri Apr 05, 2019 at 12:03:44 PM EST
    here's another alleged hoax...
    Brian Michael Rini told investigators in Kentucky on Wednesday that he was Pitzen and had run across an Ohio bridge after escaping two kidnappers. But DNA tests indicated that the man was not the boy who vanished eight years ago, officials said Thursday.

    This story reminds me of the Netflix documentary The Imposter about a similar case...
    Let's start with the facts. In 1994, an American teenager named Nicholas Barclay disappeared after playing basketball with his friends in San Antonio. He was presumed murdered, but his body was never found. Authorities gave up. His family grieved. Then, less than three years later, the Barclay family got a phone call that their son had turned up, lost and scared, in the middle of Spain. The family welcomed him back without hesitation, but other people noticed that something was not quite right. Not right at all. The Nicholas Barclay of 1994 was a blue-eyed and blonde-haired kid who lived his entire life in Texas. The Nicholas who returns in 1997 has brown eyes, obviously dyed hair, and a French accent. How can the family not recognize the obvious imposter?

    That is pretty crazy. (none / 0) (#99)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Apr 05, 2019 at 01:58:29 PM EST
    I don't usually watch TV news, but my wife had it on in the AM a few days ago and I saw the amazing Pitzen story.

    If not for your post, I'd still be thinking it was true.


    Makes me think (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by jondee on Fri Apr 05, 2019 at 02:05:34 PM EST
    of the film The Return of Martin Guerre.

    I haven't seen it. Now I want to. (none / 0) (#102)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Apr 05, 2019 at 02:15:47 PM EST
    Sommersby is the American version (none / 0) (#103)
    by jondee on Fri Apr 05, 2019 at 04:00:58 PM EST
    set in the post-Civil War period.

    Chi (none / 0) (#104)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Apr 07, 2019 at 05:40:28 PM EST
    Not everyone who is arrested and charged is guilty (none / 0) (#109)
    by thomas rogan on Tue Apr 09, 2019 at 11:57:11 AM EST
    If Jussie Smollett is your poster child for this then I don't think that you'll win many people over to that idea.