Lori Lightfoot, Chicago’s new mayor-elect, hasn’t had time to settle in on her new job before she was met with questions about the Jussie Smollett case.
Lightfoot who has never held public office was elected this past week and many questions her experience to lead one of the world’s most dangerous cities. Because of the circumstances of the case ending with little to no type of punishment for a race hate hoax that could have destroyed a city, Lightfoot said she still has questions about why the charges against Smollett were dropped.
She also has reached out to Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx for more information about why the case against the actor was abandoned.
I can understand a plea deal where he admits guilt, sentenced to probation and fine. No way should those charges have been dropped. Pleas deals are normal not dropping charges.
“The State’s Attorney’s office here which made the decision unilaterally to drop the charges has to give a much more fulsome explanation,” Lightfoot said during an interview with Craig Melvin on MSNBC Wednesday. “We cannot create the perception that if you’re rich or famous or both that you got one set of justice — and for everybody else it’s something much harsher. That won’t do and we need to make sure that we have a criminal justice system that has integrity.”
When asked point blank by Melvin about whether she thought Smollett was innocent, Lightfoot hedged but said the evidence did not suggest that conclusion.
“I believe that everybody is entitled to a presumption of innocence,” she said. “But I saw — as I’m sure you and your listeners saw — a very compelling case, with video tapes, witness statement and other information that looked like he had staged a hoax, and if that happened he’s got to be held accountable.” [The Wrap]
It seems to me that everyone but this prosecutor saw the same thing enough evidence to prosecute. Maybe somebody should look at this guys bank account and see if he didn’t deposit a large amount of money recently.
Believe it or not, Mayor Lightfoot could gain some enormous respect if she makes sure Smollett is held accountable as seems like everyone can agree that he needs to be held accountable.
This will be Lightfoot’s first major test as mayor. How she handles, this situation will go a long way toward showing the country whether or not she’s willing to take on the corruption and ineptitude in Chicago politics. It’ll be interesting to say the least.
I know a lot of people are discussing the plea deal, and I am no legal expert, but my question is why seal the documents/case? The sealing of his record is what smells rotten to me. (in addition to the plea deal with so much evidence available).
We’ll see if Lightfoot changes her tune. She is right of course, what happened with Smollett was a travesty of justice but once she gets into office and the bribes start flowing, we’ll see how incorruptible she is.