Chicago Police Chief Who Arrested Jussie Smollett Says He Would Have Not Pressed Charges If He Just Apologized

The former Chicago Police Chief Eddie Johnson, who arrested Jussie Smollett, revealed he would have let him off with an apology and not pursued criminal charges if he would have admitted to lying three years ago.

Johnson was Chicago’s Police Chief when Smollett staged the hoax attack. He was fired for misconduct after he was discovered drunk at the wheel of his parked patrol car. Subsequently, information arose that he had affairs with female staff. 

chicago police chief who arrested jussie smollett says he would have not pressed charges if he just apologized
Image via Shutterstock

Smollett informed police as well as the public that he was jumped by two white Trump supporters on his way home from Subway in the middle of the night on the coldest night of the year while out buying a sandwich. This past week, he was found guilty of staging the attack in attempt to to boost his career. He paid brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo to carry out the faux attack.

Johnson was the first to condemn Smollett for lying about the fake attack in January 2019 and went on to arrest him despite the actor claiming the police force was only going after him because he is a black man.  

Johnson, who is also a Black man, appeared on NewsNation’s Morning in America on Friday to speak on the verdict. Smollett was found guilty on five counts of lying to police. Johnson went on to admit that he would not have pursued a prosecution against Smollett or even charged him if the Jussie would have just apologized and admitted that he lied.  

chicago police chief who arrested jussie smollett says he would have not pressed charges if he just apologized
Image via Shutterstock

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“Let me say this: Myself and Mayor [Rahm] Emanuel were upset at the time that [he] stained our city and you put all that manpower into it but I want people to understand this. This was not the most heinous crime of the century. He didn’t kill anybody. He didn’t blow up a building.”

“We would have been more than happy with just an apology at the end of all that we uncovered but for some reason, he just wanted to keep going down this road that he was actually a victim,” he shared. 

Johnson revealed how he became immediately suspicious after he saw the video of Smollett being interviewed in his apartment by police detectives. 

chicago police chief who arrested jussie smollett says he would have not pressed charges if he just apologized
Chicago Police Department

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“I have to be honest, when I first saw the video of him in his apartment with the noose around his neck I was concerned because I don’t think there’s many black people in America with a noose around their neck and wouldn’t immediately take it off.”

“And the way he was so nonchalant handling it gave me cause for concern. But I would not let the police department make him an offender until the evidence just go to be so overwhelming. I stopped the department from calling him an offender for quite a while. To use a symbol like a noose to promote yourself is just unconscionable to me.”

“The city of Chicago, we’d been making so much progress at that time in terms of violent crime, it just hurt me that a black person would use a black symbol like that and create a crime where no crime occurred. It was tough. It really was,” he said. 

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