A 76-year-old Chicago man was jailed for days after filing a false police report — and his case is being compared to that of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, who walked away from numerous charges earlier this year.
As previously reported, Chicago prosecutors dropped all 16 felony counts against Smollett at an emergency hearing in late March. The disorderly conduct charges stemmed from a January 29 incident in which the actor claimed to have been the victim of a hate crime. He was accused of filing a false police report, and Chicago police gave a press conference in February claiming that Smollett had paid two brothers to stage a hoax attack against him.
At the time the charges were dropped, Smollett agreed to forfeit his $10,000 bond payment made shortly after his arrest in February, according to the New York Times.
According to CWB Chicago, 76-year-old Robert Racky was charged with filing a false police report in August 2018 after he claimed he had been carjacked — when in fact, his car had been booted, according to the report.
Further, police reportedly found a rifle and a shotgun in his car, although Racky did not have a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card, according to the report. But according to the Daily Mail, Racky was not found guilty of any weapons charges.
The Daily Mail reports that Racky spent two days in jail because he was unable to come up with the bond money, and needed his lawyer to pay it. A spokesperson for the Cook County State’s Attorney told the Daily Mail that Racky pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of reckless conduct and paid a $434 fine.
As noted by CWB Chicago, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said through a spokesperson that the decision to drop the charges against Smollett was “not a new or unusual practice.”
“The charges were dropped in return for Mr. Smollett’s agreement to do community service and forfeit his $10,000 bond to the City of Chicago,” the spokesperson, Tandra Simonton, said in a statement obtained by NBC News.
“Without the completion of these terms, the charges would not have been dropped. This outcome was met under the same criteria that would occur for and is available to any defendant with similar circumstances.”
CWB Chicago reports that court records show at least eight other defendants charged with a single count of disorderly conduct stemming from allegations of filing a false police report pleaded guilty, and all eight defendants now have criminal records — while Smollett does not.
[Feature image: Robert Racky; Jussie Smollett/Chicago Police Department]