Actor Jussie Smollett arrested for fake 'MAGA' attack report

'Empire' actor charged with lying to police and filing false report is taken into custody by Chicago police.

David Rosenberg ,

Jussie Smollett arrested in Chicago
Jussie Smollett arrested in Chicago
REUTERS

Actor Jussie Smollett has been taken into custody by Chicago police Thursday, after authorities announced Wednesday that he was wanted on felony charges.

On Thursday, Chicago police communications chief Anthony Guglielmi said that the actor, best known from the television series “Empire” had been taken into police custody and placed under arrest after Smollett turned himself.

“Jussie Smollet is under arrest and in custody of detectives,” Guglielmi tweeted Thursday. “At 9am at #ChicagoPolice Headquarters, Supt Eddie Johnson, Commander of Area Central Detectives Edward Wodnicki will brief reporters on the investigation prior to the defendants appearance in court.”

Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson excoriated Smollett at a press conference Thursday, saying his false claims “cause real harm” to “every legitimate victim”.

"Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career. I'm left hanging my head asking 'Why?' Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? How could someone look at the hatred and suffering associated with that symbol and see an opportunity to manipulate that symbol to further his own public profile? How can an individual who has been embraced by the City of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in this city in the face by making these false claims? Bogus police reports cause real harm. They do harm to every legitimate victim."

The day before his arrest, the Cook County state attorney’s office approved felony charges against Smollett for filing a false police report and disorderly conduct.

Smollett came into the national spotlight when he claimed that he had been viciously assaulted on January 29th by two right-wing radicals in downtown Chicago.

According to Smollett, the assailants, who wore “Make America Great Again” hats, hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him while beating him, placing a noose around his neck, and pouring an “unknown liquid” on him.

The allegations drew heavy media coverage, with many pundits suggesting the alleged attack was a sign of growing bigotry in the Trump era.

This week, however, Chicago police revealed that they believe Smollett had orchestrated the incident, paying two Nigerian brothers to carry out the attack.

It was later revealed that Smollett had a previous conviction for lying to police, stemming from a 2007 arrest for drunk driving and driving without a valid driver’s license. Smollett pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges in the case.




top