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Police Say Phone Records Jussie Smollett Provided Aren’t ‘Sufficient’ For Hate Crime Investigation
The records “Empire” star Jussie Smollett gave them after he was allegedly attacked “do not meet the burden of a criminal investigation,” police said.
Actor Jussie Smollett has reportedly turned over his phone records to law enforcement officials, nearly two weeks after he was allegedly beaten in a racist, homophobic attack, but police reportedly need even more information from him.
The 35-year-old “Empire” star told Chicago police that he was assaulted by two strangers after leaving a Subway restaurant at around 2 a.m. on Jan. 29. He claimed that the two men, who have yet to be identified or apprehended, used racist and homophobic slurs before beating him, dousing him with what may have been bleach, and leaving a noose around his neck.
Initial reports from TMZ suggested that Smollett told police that he was on the phone with his manager when he was attacked, but he later opted not to give his phone or records to police when requested to. An unnamed source close to the actor later contested that claim to TMZ, claiming that Smollett was “uncomfortable” being without his phone and police never asked for his phone records. Still, Smollett had agreed to share his records, the source claimed.
Chicago police confirmed on Monday that Smollett has turned over his phone records to police, but they may still need more from him, the reports. The records Smollett handed over “are not sufficient and do not meet the burden of a criminal investigation,” police said, according to the outlet.
Smollett’s camp also confirmed that the records have been given to police, with a spokesperson for the actor telling Page Six on Monday, “Phone records from Jussie’s manager were sent to police on Feb. 5 and Jussie’s records were sent over this morning. Both were sent to Chief of Staff to the Superintendent of Police Robert Boik, who confirmed receipt.”
“They have Jussie’s records from within an hour of the incident. The police confirmed receipt of the records at [2:28 p.m. EST],” the statement continued.
However, police said that the document Smollett gave to police contained multiple redacted portions, while his manager’s records were a screenshot of a call log, according to the Chicago Tribune. Chief police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told the outlet that while police are “appreciative” of Smollett cooperating with authorities, they will likely need more information.
Police would like to review the phone records so that they can verify Smollett's story as well as his manager's version of events, Page Six reports.
“We have no reason to doubt the statements, but for a criminal investigation, we need to independently confirm the phone records,” Guglielmi told the outlet.
Smollett told police that his attackers said, “This is MAGA country,” as they fled, and the actor is said to have transported himself to a local hospital following the attack. Police are currently investigating the incident, and have released surveillance footage of two people who they believe are people of interest in the case. As of yet, however, no suspects have been named and no arrests have been made.
While some on social media (and in his neighborhood) have questioned his story, Smollett has maintained that he has consistently cooperated with police.
“I am working with authorities and have been 100% factual and consistent on every level,” he said in the first statement he issued following the alleged attack. “Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served.”
[Photo: Getty Images]