Various reports indicate that Chicago Police may be building a case against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett for a staged and false reported hate crime that attracted widespread condemnation and outcry. Smollett claimed that white men wearing Trump’s signature MAGA hats jumped out of a car and screamed “This is MAGA country, n****r” and beat him and put a noose around his neck. Various networks and cable stations like CNN ran with the story as a horrific attack and an example of rising hate crimes during the Trump Administration. Presidential candidate Cory Booker called the attack an “attempted modern-day lynching” though he now is saying that he is “withholding his judgment.” Two Nigerian brothers have been arrested and reportedly implicated Smollett in the hoax. If true, Smollett could be looking at years in jail.
Smollett was widely heralded as a victim who showed bravery in the face of a hate crime. He appeared at one event and described how the first attacked “Punches me right in the face. So, I punched his ass back. I think what people need to hear is just the truth.” The truth however appears equally disturbing.
Ola and Abel Osundairo were arrested in connection with the case this weekend. Media reports indicate that the rope used for the noose has been traced to a nearby lumber store (where I used to go with my father for material) in Chicago. They supposedly were identified as purchasing the rope shortly before the attack.
In an ominous statement, the Chicago Police declared:
“We can confirm that the information received from the individuals questioned by police earlier in the Empire case has in fact shifted the trajectory of the investigation. We’ve reached out to the Empire cast member’s attorney to request a follow-up interview.”
Given Smollett’s public appearances as a victim and launching a citywide manhunt, the “shift” in “trajectory” could well land him in prison if the brothers can tie him to a hoax. The filing of a false police report is a class 4 felony, punishable by up to three years in prison, and fines up to $25,000.