WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- On Monday, Chicago police released body camera footage showing former Empire actor Jussie Smollett with noose around his neck the night he alleged he was attacked by two black men.
- Smollett claimed in January that he was a victim of a hate-fueled attack, but police believed in February that the 36-year-old actor had staged the whole thing.
- The openly gay TV star was indicted on 16 felony counts but prosecutors surprisingly dropped all charges.
Chicago police on Monday released bodycam footage of officers talking to Jussie Smollett after the alleged hoax hate-crime attack as a white rope tied in a noose around his neck can be seen. The footage is part of the almost 70 hours of video footage related to the actor’s case.
The footage shows Chicago officers speaking to the former Empire actor inside his apartment after he reported being attacked by two black men on Jan. 29.
The openly gay actor still had the noose around his neck during the interview. “Do you want to take it off?” one of the officers asked Smollett in the footage. “Yeah, I do. I just wanted you all to see it,” he replied.
The actor’s face is blurred in the video as investigators thought at the time he was the victim of a hate crime. Later on, Smollett claimed his attackers yelled racist and homophobic slurs and said: “This is MAGA country!”
Eventually, he was charged with making a false police report when authorities found out he allegedly paid the two men who “attacked” him. Chicago prosecutor Kim Foxx later dropped all charges against him.
Chicago Judge Michael Toomin on Friday appointed a special prosecutor who could bring new criminal charges against Smollett.
According to Toomin’s ruling, Smollett’s case was rife with “unprecedented irregularities” that warrant the appointment of independent counsel “to restore the public’s confidence in the integrity of our criminal justice system” after Foxx’s office made a series of questionable actions.
Source: Page Six