Federal Judge Tosses Out Jussie Smollett’s ‘Malicious Prosecution’ Suit against Chicago P.D.

Actor Jussie Smollett leaves court in Chicago, Ill., March 26, 2019. (Kamil Krzaczynski/Reuters)

Jussie Smollett’s counter-suit against the Chicago Police Department for “malicious prosecution” was thrown out by a federal judge on Wednesday on the grounds that the Empire actor lacks the standing to counter-sue while he has outstanding proceedings against him.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall also said in her ruling that the police acted properly considering they “had probable cause” to believe that Smollett had staged the alleged hate crime.

Smollett is currently facing a six-count felony indictment for allegedly making false statements to the police about a racist, homophobic crime that a grand jury assessed he orchestrated against himself in January 2019.

After Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx dropped the charges against the actor, citing the technically victimless nature of the hoax and his record of service to the community, Special prosecutor Dan Webb filed the new charges in February, after an investigation that began in August.

The city of Chicago then filed a civil lawsuit against Smollett, attempting to recover $130,106 from the Empire actor for the costs of investigating the staged crime, which remains ongoing.

In November, Smollett’s lawyers asserted in a counterclaim that the city was pursuing a “malicious prosecution,” causing “humiliation, mental anguish and extreme emotional distress,” for Smollett. It also argued that because he had paid $10,000 to the city “as payment in full in connection with the dismissal of the charges against him” there was no need for further penalties.

Smollett, who pleaded not guilty to the felony charges and was released on bond in February, is prepared to go to trial, according to his lawyers.

“It’s very frustrating, especially when you see what the law says and you see the actions that were taken that were contrary to the law, so we’re optimistic that the higher court will reverse this,” They said in February, adding that Smollett’s “primary concern was moving on.”

Tobias Hoonhout is a news writer for National Review Online.
@TJHoonhout

(C) 2020 National Review

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