The case of Jussie Smollett, which caused consternation and controversy in Chicago last year, is entering a fresh chapter. Smollett, a former actor on the show Empire, was again indicted by a Cook County, Il., grand jury for filing false police reports that he had been the victim of a hate crime near his home in January 2019, NPR reports. This is the second time Smollett has been indicted for filing a false police report. Last March 7, a grand jury returned a 16-count indictment. Less than a month later, the Cook County State’s Attorney dropped all charges, a decision that ignited heated disagreement.
Special prosecutor Dan Webb said he concluded that “further prosecution of Jussie Smollett is ‘in the interest of justice.'” The grand jury returned indictments on six charges of disorderly conduct connected to the alleged false reports. Webb was appointed last summer to review the evidence against Smollett and to investigate how Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, and her office handled the case. The new charges involve Smollett having allegedly made four separate false reports to police in which the actor claimed that he had been jumped by two white men who yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him as they punched him and put a noose around his neck. Detectives later determined that Smollett had paid two men he knew — his personal trainers, who had also appeared as extras on “Empire” — to attack him.