MSNBC Legal Analyst on Smollett: Chicago PD Has History of Racism, ‘Lying and Covering Up’


With Empire actor Jussie Smollett having all charges dropped against him at the request of the prosecution, MSNBC legal analyst Midwin Charles said the Chicago police department has a bad reputation when it comes to “lying and covering up” crimes.

She specifically pointed to the case of Laquan McDonald.

“But again, you know, you’re talking about a Chicago police department that’s already been struggling with a sullied reputation after police officer Jason Van Dyke was found guilty of shooting 17-year-old black teen Laquan McDonald and there was an extensive coverup. And when it came to truth-telling and when it came to, you know, being the shining light of truthfulness, the Chicago PD unfortunately was not it,” she said.

“But I can’t imagine, when you’re pointing to the situation with Laquan McDonald, to bring the Chicago PD as an example of issues happening within not only our police departments around the country, but our Justice Department in general, again, we’re waiting to hear from Jussie Smollett, but we don’t necessarily know who is at fault for what took place and why it is we landed where we are, which is charges being dropped and the case being expunged with regard to Jussie Smollett. So walk me through some things we know about the Chicago police department.”

“Sure. They’ve been under the gun for a lot of reasons. In fact the police chief we saw at that press conference, he became police chief after there were some changes made because the Laquan McDonald case was so terrible. But just to give you some background, you know, Jason van Dyke was found guilty of shooting 17-year-old black teen Laquan McDonald and there was an extensive coverup. That officer was sentenced to only three years in prison. Three Chicago department police officers were tried for allegedly with covering up details related to the shooting. Interestingly enough, they were found not guilty by a judge.”

“Here you have a police department known for that is known lying and covering up and yet they were outraged at the fact that Jussie Smollett may have lied and may have covered something up, so the irony was there. And I think it sort of underscored the lack of faith and lack of trust that people have in a police department when they engage in this kind of behavior,” Charles added.

She also called out Chicago officials on Twitter:

Joe Magats, the first assistant state’s attorney, said that while they are not charging Smollett anymore, it does not mean they exonerated him.

Watch above, via MSNBC.

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Julio has previously written for Independent Journal Review. He is currently a Military/Veterans Contributor for and serving in the Marine Corps Reserves.