The civil rights leader was in Chicago on Saturday at the Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition. The Chicago Tribune reports Sharpton portrayed Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel as a hypocrite. Emanuel has criticized prosecutors' actions in the "Empire" actor's case. Smollett was charged with falsely reporting to police that he was the victim of an attack.
Sharpton said "there is a marked difference between how they reacted to this and how they reacted to the Laquan McDonald case." Sharpton said there was no outrage when video showing a white officer fatally shooting the black teen was withheld.
Emanuel spokesman Matt McGrath said "this isn't worthy of a response."
The Chicago Police Department and the Cook County State's Attorney's Office insist their relationship is strong, even if they didn't agree on the outcome in Jussie Smollett's case.
When prosecutors dropped the charges that accused Smollett of orchestrating a fake attack, the decision drew a swift backlash from critics, including the mayor and police superintendent. They were outraged that Smollett saw his record wiped clean without offering so much as an apology.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says the relationship is like a marriage and sometimes needs work, but both organizations are crime fighters. Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx tells WGN that she spoke to the police superintendent about the decision to drop the case. She says their relationship is one of mutual respect.