Though the case against Jussie Smollett was dismissed last week in a surprise move by the Cook County State Attorney's office, the fallout continues in multiple directions.
On Saturday, March 30, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson issued a statement to ABC News and other outlets reminding the public that his office "stood firmly behind this investigation and the evidence" brought against the "Empire" star alleging he staged a racist and homophobic attack on himself in Chicago on Jan. 29.
Johnson also pointed out his team had "approved the charges not only at the point of felony approval but again when they made their independent decision to take the evidence to an independent criminal grand jury to secure an additional 16 felony counts," according to ABC.
Finally, he reiterated a statement made in a Friday op-ed for the Chicago Tribune by the State's Attorney Kim Foxx in which she said Smollett "has not been exonerated" of anything.
Amid claims Foxx's decision to drop the case was politically motivated, she said that in fact, her prosecutors did not want to pursue a costly case they weren't sure they could get a conviction for, particularly because of the low-level nature of the felonies Smollett was charged with. She said she did not want to drain resources that would otherwise go towards fighting violent crime.
According to Page Six, police still believe Smollett, who has since been ordered to fork over $130,000 to cover the city's legal costs, staged the attack to "advance his career."
If Smollett is, in fact, guilty, and career advancement was his goal, it's clearly not going as planned. On Friday night at the NAACP Image Awards, where he was up for Best Supporting Actor, an award presented during an untelevised portion of the show, Smollett lost to "Grey's Anatomy" star Jesse Williams. (Neither actor was reportedly on hand for the awards dinner that evening.)
Foxx, meanwhile, said in her op-ed that she welcomes "an outside, nonpolitical review of how we handled this matter."
The FBI announced a few days prior that it was investigating the decision on March 26 to dismiss the case.
In February, suspicion turned from then unknown attackers who Jussie claimed threw bleach at him, tied a rope around his neck and yelled that he was in "MAGA country," to the actor, who was questioned by police along with two men connected to "Empire" thought to have rehearsed and staged the attack.