A judge in Illinois ordered a special prosecutor to investigate how unspecial prosecutors handled the case of Jussie Smollett, in which the Empire star reported an assault that was initially investigated as a possible hate crime, was arrested for allegedly paying two men to help him commit the crime, and then dropped all charges.
In a recent verdict, a judge ruled that Smollett may be charged again.
The appointment of the special prosecutor by the judge is the consequence of dissatisfaction claims of conflicts of interest which, according to NPR, may have worked in favor of Smollett:
“Law enforcement officials have said they’re frustrated that Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office ended the case by abruptly announcing Smollett would not face any charges. Then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel, along with police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, called it a “‘whitewash of justice.’”
Judge Michael Toomin appeared to agree with the frustrations of law enforcement, saying the case was full of “unprecedented irregularities,” so much so that Smollett could face fresh charges depending on the results of the special prosecutor
“If reasonable grounds exist to further prosecute Smollett, in the interest of justice the special prosecutor may take such action as may be appropriate to effectuate that result.”