Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel angrily lashed out on Tuesday after prosecutors dropped charges that had accused “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett of staging a phony hate crime that hit hot-button issues of race, sexuality and America’s political divide.

Smollett, who is black and gay, had earlier described the move as a complete vindication, and said he had told the truth when he said two masked men threw a noose around his neck and poured chemicals on him while yelling racist and homophobic slurs in January.

Emanuel criticized the move by Cook County prosecutors, saying he stood by the police investigation.

“This is a whitewash of justice,” Emanuel told a news conference. “From top to bottom, this is not on the level.”

Prosecutors could not immediately be reached for a response.

That came hours after Smollett stood by his earlier accusations, which drew worldwide attention.

http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/topNews/~3/Dhnoa06uOo4/chicago-mayor...

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