Empire star Jussie Smollett is seen with a makeshift noose around his neck in recently released footage taken by Chicago police shortly after his alleged attack. The footage comes from one of the responding officer's body cams, and you can hear Jussie expressing concern about why the questioning is being video taped. CBS Chicago has obtained this footage, which you can watch and decide for yourself whether or not he's guilty or innocent of making this whole thing up.
Jussie Smollett reported a racially motivated attack to the Chicago police in late January. He was later accused of making the whole story up, which included him being accosted on the streets of Chicago while on his way to get a Subway sandwich at 2 a.m. in the morning. he claims two men threw bleach on his skin, called him racially charged names, threw a noose around his neck and proclaimed he was in Maga Country in reference to President Donald Trump's 'Make America Great' again slogan.
New information is coming to light in the case. The body cam footage was released on Monday, and shows Jussie Smollett standing in his apartment, several hours after the attack, still wearing the noose he claims was thrown around his neck by two white individuals. Jussie's face is blurred since he is inside his home. Also present with his face blurred by Chicago police is Jussie's manager Frank Gatson.
In the footage released by the Chicago PD, the cops ask Jussie if he'd like to take the noose off from around his neck. He takes the tangle of white rope from around his head, proclaiming, 'Just wanted you all to see it." He goes onto say, 'They poured bleach on me.' There is no immediate evidence of bleach on Smollett's clothes. He tells the officers that he doesn't want them video taping, and soon after they turn the cameras off.
The incident in question occurred on January 29, 2019. Jussie Smollett was later treated at the Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he was declared to be in good condition. He left later that same morning. In his account of events, he claims the attack was racially motivated. He also claimed to have been sent a threatening letter earlier that month, which some believe he penned himself. Jussie would later go on national TV and talk about the incident in an interview.
After an investigation, it was believed that Smollett was not telling the truth about the attack, and that he'd made the whole thing up. He was charged by a grand jury with a class 4 felony for filing a false police report. Smollett surrendered himself the next day. On March 26, all charges were dropped against the actor and the public court file was officially sealed. This hasn't sat well with many involved with the case. Jussie was sentenced to just 16 hours of community service and had to forfeit his $10,000 bond. The very next day, the FBI launched an investigation into why the charges had been dropped. The city of Chicago is taking Smollett to civil court, and are seeking to have him reimburse $130,000 in overtime costs for investigating the allegedly fake claim. The police footage was released by CBS Chicago.