The Supreme Attorney of Chicago on Friday asked the Inspector General of Cook County to investigate how his office had handled the Jussie Smollett case.
Kimberly Foxx called for an independent investigation after being convicted of abandoning all charges against the "Empire" actor just a week after being indicted for 16 counts of indictment. filed a false police report.
"A former prosecutor, Inspector General (Patrick) Blanchard, has been conducting independent investigations for Cook County for more than a decade," Foxx said in a statement. "It is important for me and my office to have the trust of the community. That's why I invited an independent review of this case. I welcome this investigation and pledge to cooperate fully with my office while IG Blanchard is reviewing it. "
The County of Cook's Inspector General's Office is a watchdog for the Cook County Government that seeks to "detect, deter and prevent corruption, fraud, waste, mismanagement, political discrimination unlawful and mistakes, "according to the OIIG website.
Smollett claimed to have been a victim of a hate crime. He told police on January 29 that he had been beaten by two masked men in the upscale neighborhood of Streeterville while he was looking for food. The actor, who is black and gay, said his attackers had uttered racist and homophobic insults before hitting him, passing him a knot in the neck and watering him with what he had called bleach.
But police began to suspect that Smollett had invented the story.
Foxx is recused from the racist case in February, before Smollett is charged, and surrendered to his deputy. At that time, a representative of her office stated that the challenge "was intended to answer any questions of impartiality based on familiarity with potential witnesses in the case".
Suspicions have been raised that Smollett may win a favorable deal after The Chicago Sun-Times announced that Tina Tchen, a Chicago lawyer and former First Lady's chief of staff Michelle Obama, had put Foxx in touch with members of Smollett's family a few days after announcing it. the police about the alleged attack.
Foxx was found on the defensive after dropping charges against Smollett. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the police fraternity, the local police union, have asked the Department of Justice to investigate Foxx's role in the decision not to prosecute Smollett.
Foxx spokesperson, Tandra Simonton, insisted that the Smollett case was not treated differently from the more than 5,700 other "lawsuit cases" handled by the bureau these last two years.
Later, Foxx itself stated that she had played no role in the decision to abandon all charges and had insisted that he not receive special treatment from the from his office.
"Mr. Smollett had the same opportunity as anyone in Cook County who allegedly committed a non-violent offense and that the required background check would have taken place," Foxx told NBC Chicago. were not part of the charge decision. "
Jussie Smollett protesters in the streets of Chicago