In a pretrial court filing Smollett’s lawyers put the responsibility on Chicago PD for the time spent on his claim
You are almost tempted to say, “How does he have the gall to say that?!”, but in the saga of Windy City entertainer Jussie Smollett it is a mere continuation of the brash defiance to the truth he has exhibited this year. Smollett is currently facing a court case filed by the Chicago Police Department for compensation over time and resources wasted chasing down the fabricated aggressors.
The Chicago PD is seeking $130,000 in payments for police overtime, and related expenses, while looking into the claim that the singer/actor had been assaulted in a hate-crime occurring in the predawn hours in late January. After numerous weeks looking into the matter, which became an international news story, the CPD ultimately charged Smollett with perpetrating a hoax.
Lawyers for Smollett have both denied that the attack was wholly fabricated by their client, and have gone on to say that ultimately responsibility for the extensive investigation falls on the Department. They make this brazen claim, despite the fact that Smollett was the one who built this claim into a national news story. He freely pushed his myth to the press, and even at the stage that most deduced he had created the “attack” out of whole cloth he went on Good Morning America and gave bold testimony that all of it was true.
“We contend the city is wrong,” says Smollet’s counsel, regarding the accusation the CPD would expend roughly 2,000 hours investigating his story. “The mere fact somebody filed a police report doesn’t presume the investigation will be done, and certainly not to the extent of what the city is claiming. Smollett has no control over that.”
This would be the time to recall the racial firestorm that flared up following the initial news of the alleged attack. News reports, social figures, and even a number of Democrat Presidential candidates all jumped instantly into the discussion to declare this a hate-crime in need of justice. Smollett perpetuated this, and he fanned the conflagration. He certainly provoked the lengthy and thorough investigation. In fact, try to imagine had the police pulled back and not given all resources to find the attackers; the cries of racism would have gone up in volume.
More hilariously oblivious claims arrived in the reasons Smollett’s lawyers gave to dismiss the federal suit. Kim Foxx, the State Attorney who made herself a lightning rod by inserting herself into the case, became a controversy herself when she abruptly sealed the entire case records, seemingly on Smollett’s behalf. That move was ultimately overturned. Now Smollett’s lawyers are relying on Foxx’s name as cause to have the case tossed.
Foxx ultimately dropped the case entirely, something held up as proof of…something. “It’s going to be very difficult,” reads the motion, “for the city to prevail in making a case my client should pay for overtime for a case ultimately dismissed by the state’s attorney.”
Invoking Foxx’s name is not the way to build a stronger case. Nor is blaming the Police for undertaking an extensive investigation.
“The filing of a police report, in and of itself, does not necessitate a sprawling investigation nor does it, as a practical matter, usually result in an investigation as extensive as the one the CPD chose to undertake in this case,” the motion reads. This is an attempt to pretend there was not a rabid national news cycle surrounding the story. It also wants the court to ignore Smollett himself doing everything to perpetuate that the attack took place.
“The City has failed to allege,” writes his lawyers, “that Mr. Smollett was similarly ‘well aware’ that his statements to police would result in 1,836 hours of police overtime, or any other reasons why he should have known this would have been the case.”
Maybe they do not need to “allege” something that most of the public knows — that is that Smollett fabricated the racist/homophobic attack. The case is scheduled next month for a judge’s decision on whether it should move to trial.