Chicago police have released footage of Jussie Smollett’s first encounter with police following his alleged assault by two racist, homophobic attackers earlier this year, revealing that he first greeted officers with a noose wrapped around his neck.
In body cam footage released to the public, officers can be seen responding to Smollett’s apartment, where they find the 37-year-old former “Empire” actor standing in his kitchen with the noose still on him. One officer spots the noose — a thin, white rope looped around his neck — and asks Smollett if he wants to take it off, at which point Smollett responds, “Yeah, I do. I just wanted you all to see it.”
At another point, Smollett references his claims that his attackers threw bleach on him, telling the officers, “There’s bleach on me, they poured bleach on me,” according to Fox News.
Once officers inform him that they are filming, Smollett states that he doesn’t want to be recorded and the officers then turn off their cameras.
Smollett told police that on Jan. 29 he was attacked by two masked men who shouted racist and homophobic slurs at him as they beat him. They doused him with bleach and left a noose around his neck, he also claimed, and shouted “This is MAGA country” as they left.
It was the start of what would become a hugely controversial case, as Chicago police launched an investigation that yielded little results before they announced their conclusion that Smollett had staged the attack himself for attention. They claimed that Smollett paid two brothers to participate in the fake hate crime, and among the footage released Monday was video of the Osundairo brothers — Smollett’s alleged accomplices — taking a taxi to the site of the alleged attack, Chicago’s WLS reports. At one point during the ride, one of the brothers tightens a hood that he’s wearing, concealing his face even further. Another clip shows the pair running away following the alleged attack, according to the outlet.
Also included is footage of Abel and Ola Osundairo being greeted by police at the airport as they return from a trip shortly after the alleged attack took place, WLS reports. The pair later told police that Smollett paid them to carry out the attack.
Following cops’ claims, Smollett was hit with charges related to filing a false police report, but prosecutors later dropped those charges without warning, sparking even more contention between Smollett, city officials, and law enforcement. The city of Chicago sued Smollett in April for the cost of the investigation, and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s handling of the case will soon be investigated by a special prosecutor, a judge recently ruled.
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