Chicago police have announced that Empire actor, Jussie Smollett, has been classified as a suspect in his reported hate-crime attack. Sorry guys, but this is an infinitely more important issue than whether Tristan Thompson cheated on Khloe Kardashian. Felony criminal charges have been approved for Disorderly Conduct/Filing a False Report. Detectives will be making contact with Smollett’s legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest. Police don’t have a time frame for how long Smollett would be given. The update on this case was tweeted by the department’s Chief Communications Officer Anthony Gugliemi:
Felony criminal charges have been approved by @CookCountySAO against Jussie Smollett for Disorderly Conduct / Filing a False Police Report. Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest. pic.twitter.com/LvBSYE2kVj
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 21, 2019
What We Already Know…
Smollett is African American and openly gay. On 29 January, he reported that he was attacked by two masked men when walking home from a Subway restaurant. He made claims that the men shouted racial and anti-gay slurs at him before pouring a substance on him. They then proceeded to throw a rope around his neck and shout, “This is MAGA country!”. Quite an elaborate and vicious attack to set up, right? Of course, Smollett’s siblings have jumped to his defence in speculation of his involvement in the attack, blasting media as ‘irresponsible’. Smollett spoke on Good Morning America: “At first it was a thing of like, listen, if I tell the truth, then that’s it — cause it’s the truth… Then it became a thing of like, oh, how can you doubt that? Like how do you not believe that? It’s the truth.”
We’re No Detectives Here But…
Smollett claimed to be on the phone with his manager during the attack, where his manager confirmed by saying he had heard the slurs. But Smollett refused to hand over his phone as evidence. Later he gave investigators a PDF file containing a limited list of his calls.
At least one of the men worked on Empire.
New evidence had the men both released without charges.
On Tuesday, Chicago police rejected a tip given in regards to the involvement of the individuals in the attack. Video evidence doesn’t support the tip.
Image Source: Chicago Police Department
Don’t get us wrong, until formal evidence and charges have been put into place that indicate Smollett did stage the attack, the only fair thing to do is believe him. A hate-crime attack is a very serious occurrence. Not only due to the presence of discrimination, but also of violence. If convicted of filing a false report, Smollett could be facing one to three years in prison, and paying the costs of the police investigation.
Image Source: Fox