Ex-Prosecutor: 'Open Warfare' Between Chicago PD and State's Attorney on Smollett Case
The Chicago Police Department on Wednesday released the full 61-page investigative report on the alleged Jussie Smollett hate crime hoax, one day after charges against the "Empire" star were unexpectedly dropped.
Cook County prosecutors dismissed Tuesday a 16-count indictment against Smollett, saying they had cut a deal with the actor to perform two days of community service and forfeit his $10,000 bond to the city. The move made it possible for Smollett's attorneys to get his criminal case immediately sealed and wiped clean.
About an hour after the department released the files, the Chicago PD reportedly became the subject of a court order that barred them from releasing further files, even though they were widely available online.
On "Outnumbered Overtime" Wednesday, former U.S. attorney Guy Lewis said this is "open warfare" between the Chicago Police Department and the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.
"[This] cannot be good for the people of Chicago. Frankly, I've never seen anything like this before," Lewis said.
Criminal defense attorney Alex Little agreed that it's a "mess," particularly because Smollett has maintained his innocence.
"That was so controverted by what we heard from the police before. It was pretty clear that the folks started thinking, 'What can we do to sort of get our story out and defend our actions in making the original arrest and indictment?'" Little said. "Clearly they've done that by releasing these records."
He added that he would be "shocked" if all the records relating to the case were not eventually released to the public.
"The court's going to have to justify the sealing order. And in this particular case, which is so extraordinary, I think there's a really good argument for public access."