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(Photo by AP)

[UPDATE]

CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on the attack reported by Jussie Smollett (all times local):

12:40 p.m.

An LGBTQ rights group is calling on anyone who feels let down by the allegations against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett to channel their anger and disappointment into productive activism to fight hate crimes.

The Human Rights Campaign released a statement Thursday saying that a “rising tide of hate violence has had a devastating impact on Black people, LGBTQ people, religious minorities & those living at the intersections.”

The group says stopping such violence will require concrete action by lawmakers.

Smollett surrendered Thursday on felony disorderly conduct charges. Police say the black and gay actor hired two brothers to help him stage a Jan. 29 attack in downtown Chicago in which he said two masked men beat him while hurling racial slurs at him and looped a rope around his neck before fleeing.

 

11:55 a.m.

A spokeswoman for Jussie Smollett’s attorneys says they may speak to reporters about the criminal case against the “Empire” actor after a bond hearing later Thursday.

Anne Kavanagh said defense lawyers Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson didn’t have any immediate reaction to the Thursday morning news conference in which police laid out the case against Smollett.

Police say the 36-year-old actor hired two brothers to help him stage a Jan. 29 attackagainst himself. Smollett, who is black and gay, reported that two masked men attacked him as he was walking home early that morning and made racist and homophobic comments while they beat him.

Smollett surrendered Thursday on a charge of felony disorderly conduct. His bond hearing is set for Thursday afternoon.

___

11:40 p.m.

The head of the Chicago police force says that as a black man who has spent his entire life in the city and knows its racial divides, he doesn’t understand how anyone, especially a black man, could use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations.

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Thursday while outlining the case against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett that bogus police reports harm “every legitimate victim who’s in need of support” and every resident of the city.

Johnson noted that Chicago hosts one of the world’s largest gay pride parades each June and said the city and police are proud of that and “do not tolerate hate in this city.”

Smollett surrendered Thursday on a charge of felony disorderly conduct.

Police say the actor, who is black and gay, hired the two brothers who are also black to stage what the actor reported was a racist and homophobic attack against him early on Jan. 29 in downtown Chicago.

___

11:15 a.m.

The studio behind the hit television show “Empire” says it is “evaluating the situation” regarding the charges against actor Jussie Smollett and is “considering our options.”

20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment issued a statement Thursday saying, “We understand the seriousness of this matter and we respect the legal process. We are evaluating the situation and we are considering our options.”

Smollett surrendered Thursday on a charge of felony disorder conduct.

Police say the actor, who is black and gay, hired the two brothers, who are also black, to stage what the actor reported was a racist and homophobic attack against him early on Jan. 29 in downtown Chicago. Johnson alleges that the reported attack was a “publicity stunt” that Smollett concocted because he was unhappy about his salary.

Police said the brothers aren’t considered suspects, but they didn’t elaborate.

___

11 a.m.

 

Chicago’s police superintendent, Eddie Johnson, says investigators have phone records that show there were extensive communications between Smollett and two brothers before and after he says they helped the actor stage an attack against himself last month.

Johnson said at a news conference Thursday that the records show calls even while the brothers were in Nigeria after the staged attack early on Jan. 29.

Police say the brothers left on a trip to Nigeria right after the attack and were detained at the airport upon their return to Chicago on Feb. 13.

Johnson says the phone records “clearly indicate” that Smollett and the brothers talked to each other before and after the incident, including while the two were abroad.

Police said the brothers are not considered suspects, but they didn’t elaborate.

___

10:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump says “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett insulted millions with his “racist and dangerous comments.”

Chicago police said Thursday that Smollett staged a racist and homophobic attack against him last month because he was unhappy with his salary and wanted publicity. Smollett, who is black and gay, plays a gay character on the hit Fox television show. He reported Jan. 29 that he was attacked while walking home from a sandwich shop.

Smollett claimed masked men beat him, made derogatory comments and yelled “This is MAGA country” – an apparent reference to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan.

Smollett surrendered Thursday on a charge of felony disorder conduct.

Trump tweeted Thursday to Smollett: “What about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments!? #MAGA.”

___

10:35 a.m.

Chicago police Superintendent says that among the evidence investigators have that “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett staged the attack against him is a $3,500 check he allegedly paid two brothers to help him.

Johnson said Thursday at a news conference that the brothers punched Smollett with gloves on during the Jan. 29 attack, but that investigators believe scratches and bruises on the actor’s face were likely self-inflicted.

Smollett surrendered Thursday on a charge of felony disorder conduct.

Police say the actor, who is black and gay, hired the two brothers, who are also black, to carry out the scheme. Johnson alleges that the reported attack was a “publicity stunt” that Smollett concocted because he was unhappy about his salary.

Police said the brothers aren’t considered suspects, but they didn’t elaborate.

10:15 a.m.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett owes the city an apology.

Johnson ended a Thursday news conference about the charges against Smollett by saying justice would be for the 36-year-old actor to apologize, admit what he did and “then be man enough to offer what he should offer up in terms of all the resources that were put into this.”

Smollett surrendered Thursday at central booking on a charge of felony disorder conduct.

Police say Smollett, who is black and gay, paid two brothers who are also black to help him stage a racist and homophobic attack against him on Jan. 29.

Johnson says investigators think Smollett had hoped that the fake attack would be captured by one of the city’s many security cameras, but that didn’t happen. He says the camera at the location where the attack happened wasn’t pointed in that direction.

___

10 a.m.

Chicago investigators say they used public and private surveillance footage to track the movements of two brothers who they say “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett hired to stage an attack on him.

Detective Commander Edward Wodnicki said at a news conference Thursday that investigators were able to see the brothers flee and get into a cab and use camera footage to follow the cab to another part of the city.

He says more surveillance footage showed the brothers at O’Hare International Airport, where they boarded a flight to Nigeria. Investigators determined the brothers had a roundtrip ticket and detained them for questioning when they returned to Chicago on Feb. 13.

Police allege that Smollett paid the brothers $3,500 to help him stage the attack. Smollett surrendered Thursday on a charge of felony disorder conduct.

The actor told police he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in downtown Chicago early on Jan. 29.

___

9:50 a.m.

The head of the Chicago Police Department says investigators know that “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett spoke to two brothers an hour before and an hour after he says they helped the actor stage last month’s attack.

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says Smollett “staged a hate crime” by claiming two masked men beat him, called him racist and homophobic names and looped a rope around his neck before fleeing. He says the actor dragged “Chicago’s reputation through the mud in the process.”

Johnson alleges that Smollett staged the attack because he was unhappy about his salary. He says Smollett paid the brothers, who are black, $3,500 to help him. Police say the brothers participated for the money and are not considered suspects.

Smollett surrendered Thursday at central booking on a charge of felony disorder conduct. His lawyers say they will vigorously fight the charge.

___

9:35 a.m.

Authorities say the investigation into the attack on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett took a new direction when the attorney for two brothers initially viewed as suspects suggested that police question them and that the men were “victims,” not offenders.

Detective Commander Edward Wodnicki said at a news conference Thursday that after questioning the brothers for nearly two days last week, they were released and investigators no longer viewed them as suspects.

Police Superintendent says Smollett paid the brothers $3,500 to stage the attack and “drag Chicago’s reputation through the mud in the process.”

Wodnicki says the brothers testified before a grand jury before prosecutors charged Smollett on Wednesday with felony disorder conduct for allegedly filing a false police report. He turned himself in at central booking early Thursday.

Smollett told police he was attacked by two masked men as he was walking home from a Subway sandwich shop at around 2 a.m on Jan. 29. The actor, who is black and gay, said they beat him, made racist and homophobic comments, poured some unknown chemical substance on him and looped a rope around his neck before fleeing.

___

9:20 a.m.

Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett “took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.”

Johnson also said at a news conference Thursday that Smollett sent a racist and homophobic threatening letter to himself at the Fox studio lot before the attack. He says Smollett was dissatisfied with his salary.

Smollett, who is accused of filing a false police report, was charged Wednesday with felony disorder conduct. He turned himself in at central booking early Thursday.

Smollett told police he was attacked by two masked men as he was walking home from a Subway sandwich shop at around 2 a.m on Jan. 29. The actor, who is black and gay, said they beat him, made racist and homophobic comments, poured some unknown chemical substance on him and looped a rope around his neck before fleeing.

Police say the investigation shifted after they questioned two brothers who were in the area that morning.

____

5:50 a.m.

Chicago police say “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett has turned himself in to face a charge of making a false police report when he said he was attacked in downtown Chicago by two men who hurled racist and anti-gay slurs and looped a rope around his neck.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tells The Associated Press that Smollett turned himself in early Thursday at central booking. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson plans to hold a morning news conference and Smollett is expected to appear in court later in the day.

The 36-year-old actor was charged Wednesday.

The charge could bring up to three years in prison. It could also force the actor, who’s black and gay, to pay for the cost of the investigation into his report of a Jan. 29 beating.

___

[ORIGINAL]

CHICAGO (AP) — The whispers about “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett started with reports that he had not fully cooperated with police after telling authorities he was attacked in Chicago by two men who hurled racist, anti-gay slurs and looped a rope around his neck.

Then detectives in a city bristling with surveillance cameras could not find video of the beating. Later, two brothers were taken into custody for questioning but were released after two days, with police saying they were no longer suspects.

Following three weeks of mounting suspicions, Smollett was charged Wednesday with making a false police report, a charge that could bring up to three years in prison and force the actor, who is black and gay, to pay for the cost of the investigation into his report of a Jan. 29 beating.

In less than a month, the 36-year-old changed from being the seemingly sympathetic victim of a hate crime to being accused of fabricating the entire thing.

Police tried Wednesday evening to get in touch with Smollett’s attorneys to negotiate his surrender. Officers did not have a time frame for how long the actor would be given.

“We are trying to be diplomatic and reasonable, and we’re hoping he does the same,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.

The felony disorderly conduct charge emerged on the same day that detectives and the two brothers testified before a grand jury. Smollett’s attorneys met with prosecutors and police, but it was unknown what they discussed or whether Smollett attended the meeting.

In a statement, attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson said Smollett “enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked.”

The announcement of the charges followed a flurry of activity in recent days, including lengthy police interviews of the brothers, a search of their home and their release after officers cleared them.

Investigators have not said what the brothers told detectives or what evidence detectives collected. But it became increasingly clear that serious questions had arisen about Smollett’s account — something police signaled Friday when they announced a “significant shift in the trajectory” of the probe after the brothers were freed.

Smollett, who plays a gay character on the hit Fox television show, said he was attacked Jan. 29 as he was walking home from a downtown Subway sandwich shop. He said the masked men beat him, made derogatory comments and yelled “This is MAGA country” — an apparent reference to President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again” — before fleeing.

Earlier Wednesday, Fox Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Television issued a statement saying Smollett “continues to be a consummate professional on set” and that his character is not being written off the show. The series is shot in Chicago and follows a black family as they navigate the ups and downs of the recording industry.

The studio’s statement followed reports that Smollett’s role was being slashed amid the police investigation.

After reviewing hundreds of hours of video, detectives did find and release images of two people they said they wanted to question and last week picked up the brothers at O’Hare Airport as they returned from Nigeria. Police questioned the men and searched their apartment.

The brothers, who were identified by their attorney as Abimbola “Abel” and Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo, were held for nearly 48 hours on suspicion of assaulting Smollett.

The day after they were released, police said the men provided information that had “shifted the trajectory of the investigation,” and detectives requested another interview with Smollett.

Police said one of the men had appeared on “Empire,” and Smollett’s attorneys said one of the men is the actor’s personal trainer, whom he hired to help get him physically ready for a music video. The actor released his debut album, “Sum of My Music,” last year.

Smollett was charged by prosecutors, not the grand jury. The police spokesman said the brothers appeared before the panel to “lock in their testimony.”

Speaking outside the courthouse where the grand jury met, the brothers’ attorney said the two men testified for about two and a half hours.

“There was a point where this story needed to be told, and they manned up and they said we’re going to correct this,” Gloria Schmidt said.

She said her clients did not care about a plea deal or immunity. “You don’t need immunity when you have the truth,” she said.

She also said her clients received money from Smollett, but she did not elaborate.

Smollett has been active in LBGTQ issues, and initial reports of the assault drew outrage and support for him on social media, including from Sen. Kamala Harris of California and TV talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.

Referring to a published account of the attack, President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House that “it doesn’t get worse, as far as I’m concerned.”

But several hours after Smollett was declared a suspect and the charges announced, there was little reaction from celebrities online.

Former Cook County prosecutor Andrew Weisberg said judges rarely throw defendants in prison for making false reports, opting instead to place them on probation, particularly if they have no prior criminal record.

Smollett has a record — one that concerns giving false information to police when he was pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence. According to records, he was also charged with false impersonation and driving without a license. He later pleaded no contest to a reduced charge and took an alcohol education and treatment program.

Another prospective problem is the bill someone might receive after falsely reporting a crime that prompted a nearly monthlong investigation, including the collection and review of hundreds of hours of surveillance video.

The size of the tab is anyone’s guess, but given how much time the police have invested, the cost could be huge.

Weisberg recently represented a client who was charged with making a false report after surveillance video discredited her account of being robbed by three men at O’Hare Airport.

For an investigation that took a single day, his client had to split restitution of $8,400, Weisberg said. In Smollett’s case, “I can imagine that this would be easily into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

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51 thoughts on “WATCH: Police Provide Details Of Smollett Plans For Attack

  1. There are some really idiotic comments on websites overall. Some people saying the agenda is to keep racism alive so people will continue to get welfare, and food stamps. Soooo ridiculous. Ist of all a lot of people on welfare probably don’t have a computer to comment on social media (and their cell fone is probably limited on minutes, wifi, etc.). I’d venture to say that most people making idiotic comments are trolls, and definitely most people on welfare and food stamps are whites living in, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Louisiana, etc. Annnnnd not all Black people are looking for a handout. They work everyday

  2. Someone said they would love to hear what Taraji P had to say to him after the additional info came out. Wouldn’t we all….I wonder if she read him the riot act LOL

  3. Mrknowitall on said:

    Jussie Smollett has become what he hates, & I forgive him. I’m a European-American, Republican, heterosexual man. Don’t be heterophobic.

    • Dwight Power on said:

      Jhuf: Just who the fook do you think you are???? You should be ashamed of yourself, how fooking DARE YOU. Did you think for one second that any member of the dinndonuffin tribe wants to hear the TRUTH????? Shame, shame, shame on you!!!!!!!! I, on the other hand, loved it. Keep up the good work. 45 in 2020 maga.

    • YEP the psycho liberals have now gone BSC (bat sh!t crazy) with identity politics, green new deals, free everything even if you don’t feel like working for it, unrestricted illegal immigration (costing tax payers $160 billion a year but Trumps wall costs too much) that flea market of democratic candidates the Trumpster won’t even need to campaign MAGA,MAGA,MAGA

  4. I’m at a loss of adequate outrage for this totally unnecessary out right fraud. Jessie has insulted all true victims of hate crimes for his own selfish motives. How on earth did he think this stunt would increase his salary. Wow! a lot of people believed his lies and now they won’t be so quick to support someone who really might need it.

    • African American Woman on said:

      Because he knows, just like any other narcissistic manipulator, that there are certain groups of people you can tell anything to and they will believe it no matter how far-fetched and fake it sounds. Like a person who shares their race would never lie or do something selfish and criminal to further their own interest, for examples. There’s plenty of fools on this site who defended Jussie like they were on his payroll…they have since mysteriously disappeared. Hmmmm

    • African American Woman on said:

      I don’t like Trump but I’m sure no one will miss your lack of sympathy. This is just another example that anyone can be racist. All is takes are: ignorance, a narrow mind and a hate-filled soul.

  5. Passing Through!! on said:

    We need to make sure the next time Permit Pattie or Parking Lot Paul calls the police on an innocent black person that they’re charged and prosecuted.

  6. Passing Through!! on said:

    We need to make sure the next time Permit Pattie or Parking Lot Paul calls the police on an innocent black person that they’re charged and prosecuted the same.
    **********
    What about all the white people who made false claims against black people, calling 911 for: a lil black girl selling lemonade, sleeping in your dorm lounge, being a black male on college campus, a black man breaking into own apartment, a black man breaking into his own car, a black male strolling his baby in the park, black folk having a cookout. To my knowledge not one white person went to jail. I don’t agree with what Jussie did, but in retrospect of the many false claims constantly being made against black people its not the end of the world.

  7. Ted Gravely on said:

    Nonsense. They used that fool’s skin to convince black people that this is a fair an impartial investigation; and convince his white benefactors that he could take another brother to task. Oh these coons are unbelievable. I called and took the precinct and these fools to task until they hung up on me. Here’s why – so we have all these cameras and great detective skills, yet you have less than a 25% rate of resolving violent crimes. This same Sambo has never spoken against proven corruption in the Chicago PD. This same idiot has never apologize without equivocation to the families like Laquan McDonald. I pray Jussie is telling the truth. If he isn’t, Jussie don’t apologize. If Jussie misled and planned this – it pales in comparison to the killing, maiming and prisonment of innocent people like the Chicago PD. I call absolute garbage on this Stepin Fetchin fool. So this was so wrong that he had to have a press conference. You can’t get that coon-face on tv to talk about police corruption. Yet he has charged, convicted and sentenced this brother in court of public opinion.

    • Butter Pecan on said:

      GAWD, I wish it were my turn to destroy your 6th grade logic, but a deal is a deal. He’s all your AAW. School this child

      • African American Woman on said:

        I would; but there’s no hope for the hopelessly pathetic like Ted. Iyanla Vanzant couldn’t help Ted. When a person’s brain gets stuck in nonsense land; it’s usually best to leave them there.

  8. Where are all those LGBT leaders that jumped on Kevin Hart about 10 year old jokes??? Where are they??? Now that Smollet has gone and played his “gay” card about a false attack??? Those same leaders are strangely silent.

  9. AGIN!!!!!! FERRIES LOVE TO TELL FERRYTALES!!!!! AND JUST LIKE A WOMEN LOVE ALL THE DRAMA THAT GOES ALONG WITH IT!!!!!!!!! NOTHIN TO DO WITH RACISM YALL JUST PLAIN OLD IGNORISM!!!!!!!!!

  10. This is utterly crazy on his part to falsely use racism to promote himself.You would think he would feel grateful of his career.He deserves jail time.

  11. Well damn… I will admit when Im wrong. I was riding for this idiot. Oh well..at least his lie didnt send an innocent person to prison or collilude with russia..or cost the country 5 billion… So hey.. life and lies goes on daily around these parts. No biggie right Trumptards!! Oh yeah .FDT!!!

    • African American Woman on said:

      You were good with holding Jussie responsible for what Jussie did… Until you started deflecting…i thought you had grown up just for a second.

  12. My dad use to advise me and said “ You can’t do what others do because the rules don’t apply to you,there’s white rules and laws and there’s black rules and laws”
    WAKE UP NEGRO’S

    • Dwight Power on said:

      Yo M, you’re right. White rules are to go to work and pay taxes, so knee grows can get free stuff. White rules are you CAN’T be proud of your race, cause that makes you racist. Black rules are DINDONUFFIN, white mans fault, and play the race card whenever you done get your way.

    • Dwight Power on said:

      Yo M, truth is I saw a picture of the “TWO WHITE GUYS FROM NIGERIA,” And had 2 white guys been picked up, Juicy would have let them take the wrap.. Typical race baiting scumbag knee grow move.. That’s at least the 10th time in 12 months knee grows have been BUSTED lying about being a victim at the hands of the white devil. If a white devil made up a false claim against 2 brothas, you, and yours would be burning, looting, and screaming for his head.. Sounds like racism to me, but knee grows can’t be racist. Just ax one of dems.

  13. Oh hell no !!! another evil racist Trump loving bigot white MoFo falsely accusing a black man of a crime…..oh uh ok wait, it’s the other way around?? no shiggady

      • Wellllllllll!!! Perhaps Rosanne Barr, Meghan Kelly, and even Dalen Roof should have used that (mental issues) as the basis for their actions

    • Phoenix Rising on said:

      No need to get your panties in a bunch. Calm down. I was with you until you mentioned Dylan Roof. Oranges and apples. Opposite ends of the spectrum. He’s just an outright murderer. Perhaps the others should have used mental illness. It’s a known fact Rosanne Barr is sick, and now we see that Jussie is also. Greed has warped his mind and has caused him to do something shameful. He will now be put in the “pot” with the people who make up sh*t. You know, like Susan Smith, and the like. You know, those women who kill their children and blame the big black boogyman.

      • Whether it’s murder, shoplifting, beating up muslims or gays, or having sex with a minor
        Claiming “the devil made me do it” or my favorite this day and age “I’m seeking therapy”
        It’s still an excuse for bad/ reckless behavior or dispicable acts, and in my book NONE of it is excusable, welcome to 2019 where even the perp’s are victims

    • Phoenix Rising on said:

      “I’m seeking therapy” and “I feared for my life” excuses, are used far more by whites than blacks on any given day. I don’t recall seeing any comments from you condemning those so called perps turned victim.

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