"There had been no clue that prosecutors planned the about-face move before the announcement," the Chicago Tribune reports, adding that Smollett had been charged with "disorderly conduct charges for allegedly staging a phony attack and claiming he was the victim of a hate crime."
MSNBC legal analyst Danny Cevalos says, "This appears to be a full, unconditional dismissal."
"Perhaps police have discovered something about the brothers' story that doesn't add up," Cevalos adds.
Records have been immediately sealed.
Smollett's attorneys issued this statement:
"Today, all criminal charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and his record has been wiped clean of the filing of this tragic complaint against him,” the statement said. “Jussie was attacked by two people he was unable to identify on January 29th. He was a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator as a result of false and inappropriate remarks made to the public causing an inappropriate rush to judgement.
“Jussie and many others were hurt by these unfair and unwarranted actions,” the statement continued. “This entire situation is a reminder that there should never be an attempt to prove a case in the court of public opinion. That is wrong. It is a reminder that a victim, in this case Jussie, deserves dignity and respect. Dismissal of charges against the victim in this case was the only just result.
“Jussie is relieved to have this situation behind him and is very much looking forward to getting back to focusing on his family, friends and career."
MORE: Office of Cook County State’s Attorney: “After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case...we believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case.” https://t.co/B2ahaJSxt3 pic.twitter.com/HYuq7lCU6K
— ABC News (@ABC) March 26, 2019
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