CHICAGO —- (WGN) -- The Chicago prosecutor whose office dismissed charged against Jussie Smollett defended the decision on Saturday, saying the "Empire" actor was treated no differently than thousands of other defendants whose charges were similarly dropped since she took office.
Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx made the comments during a defiant and emotional address at the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.'s Rainbow Push Coalition. Foxx openly wondered if her race had something to do with the harsh criticism she's faced since her office announced that charges against Smollett had been dropped. The actor was accused of staging what he claimed to be a racist and homophobic attack in January.
"I have been asking myself for the last two weeks what is this really about," she said. "As someone who has lived in this city, who came up in the projects of this city to serve as the first African American woman in this role, it is disheartening to me ... that when we get in these positions somehow the goalposts change."
Foxx, who recused herself from the case after she communicating with a Smollett relative during the probe, reiterated that she welcomes of an independent investigation into the way she and her office handled the case. She also reminded the audience that her office did the same thing for the nearly 6,000 low-level defendants who had their charges dropped with "deferred prosecution" during her tenure.