In this country, justice is supposed to be blind. In other words, someone’s guilt or innocence is not dependent upon their economic or social status. It’s supposed to mean that whether you are influential or not, justice is meted out regardless of your personal circumstances.
That notion took a blow recently when actor Jussie Smollett was allowed to walk away from criminal charges against him. Disorderly conduct charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, who was accused of staging a racist and homophobic attack on himself, were dropped Tuesday.
Cook County prosecutors said charges were dropped after reviewing the circumstances of the case as well as Smollett’s community service and forfeiture of his bond.
Police said they had evidence to prove that he paid two brothers to stage the attack in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood because he wasn’t satisfied with his salary on the show, but Smollett and his defense team have maintained his innocence throughout the investigation. He was indicted by a grand jury and charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct.
Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Mayor Rahm Emanuel are livid over the prosecutors’ decision and they should be. How are elected officials supposed to govern and police supposed to maintain order after this debacle and miscarriage of justice?
Emanuel, in comments made after the ceremony, called the decision a “whitewash of justice.” Johnson said he believes Smollett still owes Chicago an apology.
“Do I think justice was served? No. What do I think justice is? I think this city is owed an apology,” he said.
This isn’t about race or conservative vs. liberal. It’s about the very fabric of our society. If we can’t rely on our institutions to be impartial and uphold the rule of law regardless of one’s standing in the community, then we are lost. This is not a good day for America.