CHICAGO (CBS)– A brother of Ola and Abel Osundairo, who were involved in the attack on Jussie Smollett, said he’s happy that all charges have been dropped against Smollett, who had been charged with orchestrating a fake hate crime to further his own career.
“I’m happy for him. That’s a good thing. I’m happy for everyone,” said the Osundairo’s brother, who declined to give his name.
When asked if he believes his brothers’ story, he said “I don’t have no comment. They can speak on their own, you know? They can answer if they need to.”
Smollett’s legal team released the following statement Wednesday night:
“IN RESPONSE TO THE CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT RELEASING ONE-SIDED EVIDENCE, HOME ADDRESS INCLUDING APT. NUMBER AND CONTINUING THEIR SMEAR CAMPAIGN AGAINST JUSSIE SMOLLETT, SMOLLETT’S ATTORNEY, PATRICIA BROWN HOLMES, ISSUED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT TODAY –
“We are disappointed the local authorities have continued their campaign against Jussie Smollett after the charges against him have been dropped. The facts are clear. The Assistant State’s Attorney appeared in court and dismissed the charges. Mr. Smollett forfeited his bond. The case is closed. No public official has the right to violate Mr. Smollett’s due process rights.
Mr. Smollett, like every citizen, is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Mr. Smollett is entitled to the same Constitutional protections as any citizen charged by the government with a crime— including the right to speak freely about his innocence, the right to be viewed as innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, and the right to hold the State to its burden of proving him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. None of that has occurred in this case.
We respectfully request all government agencies involved live up to the ethical tenants of their office, state and local law, Supreme Court Rules on Trial Publicity as well as the Rules of Professional Responsibility for lawyers and prosecutors. We will not try this case in a court of public opinion. There is no case to try. The case was dismissed. We should all allow Mr. Smollett to move on with his life as a free citizen.”
IN ADDITION, THE COOK COUNTY STATE’S ATTORNEY’S OFFICE HAS FLIP-FLOPPED ITS POSITION ON THIS CASE SEVERAL TIMES IN THE PAST 24 HOURS
First, during the court proceeding yesterday morning, Assistant State’s Attorney Risa Lanier stated, “After reviewing 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, the State’s motion in regards to the indictment is to nolle pros. We believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case.” The State’s Attorney’s office released the following statement shortly after –
“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.
In the last two years, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office has referred more than 5,700 cases for alternative prosecution. This is not a new or unusual practice. An alternative disposition does not mean that there were any problems or infirmities with the case or the evidence. We stand behind the Chicago Police Department’s investigation and our decision to approve charges in this case. We did not exonerate Mr. Smollet. The charges were dropped in return for Mr. Smollett’s agreement to do community service and forfeit his $10,000 bond to the City of Chicago. Without the completion of these terms, the charges would not have been dropped. This outcome was met under the same criteria that would occur for and is available to any defendant with similar circumstances.”
In a telephone interview with the Chicago Tribune later that day, First Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats said the office reached an unwritten deal with the defense to drop the charges if Smollett forfeited the $10,000 bond and did community service — an arrangement he characterized as a routine way to resolve nonviolent charges against first-time offenders. “The bottom line is we stand behind the investigation, we stand behind the decision to charge him,” he said. “The fact that (Smollett) feels that we have exonerated him, we have not. I can’t make it any clearer than that.”
Then, in an interview with CBS News’ Adriana Diaz yesterday evening, Magats said he believes Jussie Smollett is guilty, though “based on all the facts and circumstances, based on his lack of criminal background, we defer or do alternative prosecutions” – despite having previously stated that charges Smollett were dropped because of his service to the community.
The Rainbow PUSH Coalition issued the following statement in response to the breaking news:
The Rainbow PUSH Coalition is an international human rights/civil rights organization that is committed to advancing the human rights of all people. When we first heard of Jussie Smollett’s crisis, we reached out to him and “Empire” to see if we could be helpful. Jussie met with us and has given of himself to our organization and the movement for social justice.
We have members and supporters across the country and around the world. Many of our members and supporters give of themselves and their time to help achieve the goals of the organization. Jussie is a member of our organization. He, like many other members, has given of his time and talent and continues to do so. During this period of disruption to his life and livelihood, Jussie has spent time here helping to advance this important work. There was no court-ordered community service here.
Media questions about the rationale for dismissing the charges against Jussie are best directed to his counsel and the Office of the State’s Attorney. The prosecutors’ decision to dismiss the charges are the prosecutors alone, and Jussie should not be the one to defend the decision. He has maintained his innocence from the very beginning.
At a time when our city is wrestling with excessive violence and unsolved homicides our resources and energies should be focused there. Any further questions about Jussie Smollett’s case should be directed to his lawyer.
We will continue to reach out to the challenges in our community. We will not stop until there is peace and justice for all.