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All charges dropped against Jussie Smollett, victim of Chicago police

By staff |
March 28, 2019
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Frank Chapman
Frank Chapman (Fight Back! News/staff)

Chicago, IL - Immediately after all charges were dropped Tuesday morning, March 26 against actor Jussie Smollett and the record of his arrest and prosecution expunged, Frank Chapman, Co-Chairperson of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, addressed the media. Smollett is a star of the Fox Television series “Empire.”

“This is another example of the CPD doing what they do,” Chapman declared. “They have falsely accused people, tortured confessions and framed-up innocent people, killed people – there is no justice when it come to the CPD. The people of this city are tired of this. We need community control of the police in this city, and we’re going to get it.”

Following Chapman, Smollett and his attorney, Patricia Brown Holmes, a former Chair of the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission, spoke to reporters.

“I have been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one,” Smollett declared. “I would not be my mother’s son if I had been capable of one drop of what I have been accused of.”

“But I am a man of faith and I am a man that has knowledge of my history and I would not bring my family, our lives, or the movement through a fire like this. I’d like nothing more than to get back to work and move on with my life. But make no mistake I will always continue to fight for justice, equality and betterment of marginalized people everywhere,” Smollett continued.

It is perhaps indicative of the inherent biases concerning Black and gay people that there has been an unquestioning acceptance of the police story about this incident by the news media and by many Black and gay activists. Many are among the same people who distrust the police on every other front.

The record of the CPD for covering up police crimes is voluminous, from the murders of at least 153 Black and brown men in the last nine years to the documented attempted coverup of the murder of Laquan McDonald.

Over 70% of the homicides in Chicago remain unsolved. Many of the homicides ‘cleared’ by the police were done so by extracting false confessions through physical and psychological torture of suspects. This means that their clearance rate is even lower than that reported. Yet the CPD was able to charge Smollett with engineering a hate crime against himself in a matter of a few days.

Thus closes the attempt by the CPD Chief Eddie Johnson to indict, try and convict Jussie Smollett in the news media. Tragically, the news media collaborated in this frame-up, as they so often do, buying the CPD line on every police crime hook, line and sinker. Smollett was convicted by them all, even before he was arraigned.

The difference between Jussie Smollett and the hundreds of other Black and brown men and women who have been framed by the CPD is mainly one of having the resources necessary to upend the CPD frame-up machine. Now we must keep going until all the victims of police torture, frame-up and killing are exonerated and free.

The campaign to enact an all-elected Civilian Police Accountability Council continues full steam, as well as the campaign for Executive Pardons of all convicted and imprisoned police torture survivors.