According to Chicago police, Empire actor Jussie Smollett has been arrested after being charged with lying to the police when he claimed he was attacked and beaten by two masked men shouting racist and homophobic slurs. The entire situation is extremely unfortunate.
On January 29, 2019, Smollett, who is a 36-year-old black and openly gay actor told the police about being beaten up by apparent President Trump supporters. The two men allegedly beat him, placed a noose around his neck, and dumped bleach on him.
As of writing this, Smollett is in the custody of detectives, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said on Thursday. Guglielmi added authorities would offer more details from their investigation.
In a statement, attorneys for Smollett, Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson, said Jussie “enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked.”
Felony crime charges against Smollett for disorderly conduct and filing a false police report were approved by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office on Wednesday.
For those who might not know, filing a false police report could land Smollett up to three years in prison and could also fine him the cost of the investigation put into his false report.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 21, 2019
Last week, two brothers were arrested by the police. The brothers were recognized from surveillance footage of the area where Smollett’s alleged attack occurred. The brothers had previously worked on Empire.
They were released two days later without charges.
Since the alleged attack, Smollet has received an outpouring of support. However, as more information about the event was uncovered, those who initially supported him felt betrayed. Feeling angry at Smollett is understandable. The entire thing is going to make it tougher for other victims of future similar racial and homophobic attacks.
Do I regret supporting Smollett when he came forward? No! I will never regret supporting anyone who comes forward. However, I’m also a big believer in due process, and that is what we are getting with Smollet’s case whether we like the result or not.
According to Former Cook County prosecutor Andrew Weisberg, judges rarely throw defendants in prison for making false reports. They are placed on probation, particularly if they have no prior criminal record.
However, Jussie Smollett has a record which concerns giving false information to the police when he was pulled over on suspicion of DUI. Records show Smollett was also charged with impersonation and driving without a license. The actor later pleaded no contest to a reduced charge and participated in an alcohol education and treatment programme.
Feel free to share your thoughts about Jussie Smollett with us.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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