At 9:30 Wednesday morning, a Cook County, Illinois, judge issued a gag order requiring the Chicago Police Department to cease speaking about or disseminating documents about its investigation of actor Jussie Smollett.
However, before that gag issue was issued, the department released 61 pages of its reports and documentation.
Smollett, who claimed he was the victim of a racist and anti-gay attack, was indicted on 16 counts related to making a false police report, but the charges were abruptly dropped Tuesday.
Remember that statements in the police reports are only that — notes that Chicago police officers made in the course of their investigation. The statements are not evidence in and of themselves. However, the actual evidence obtained by the officers in their investigation is now under a gag order.
You can view the police reports below:
CPD releases Jussie Smollet… by on Scribd
CPD releases Jussie Smollet… by on Scribd
Here’s what we learned from the reports:
1. The investigation described the Smollett’s offense as “making false reports to police claiming to be the victim of an Aggravated Battery.” It noted his motive was undetermined.
2. Chicago police subpoenaed video footage from a Sheraton Hotel and verified the time accuracy. The time of the footage — for 8:51 p.m. — was four minutes and 30 seconds behind actual time plus or minus four seconds.
3. Chicago police sent a search warrant to an FBI analyst pertaining to Smollett’s iCloud account.
4. Chicago police asked two witnesses when and where they received a $100 bill from Smollett. The witnesses affirmed the money was “provided to them to buy rope, a mask, and a hat for this incident.”
5. A witness said he was “pretty sure he received the $100 bill from SMOLLETT on 25-JAN-2019.” The witness was not sure when and where he actually used that particular bill. The witness said he paid for the rope, masks and hat with other “loose cash.” He kept no receipts.
6. A witness said he was “pretty sure” he received a $3,500 check from Smollett on Jan. 27.
7. Both witnesses said they left the clothing they wore in another place. The location was redacted.
8. One witness said he did not have a cellphone with him on Jan. 25 or 27. The second witness said he thought he did but was not certain.
9. Both witnesses emphatically denied they had anything to do with a letter received by Smollett on Jan. 22.
10. One witness was shown a photo bottle of El Yucateco hot sauce that was recovered from the scene and said it was the bottle he filled with bleach and poured on Smollett.
11. One witness identified another photo as the vehicle being driven by Smollett, and a witness was also a passenger in the vehicle.
12. A witness was able to pull up banking information online that showed a $3,500 deposit. Chicago police obtained a copy of the deposit slip.
13. Witnesses said they were picked up by Smollett at their residence and driven to Lake Shore Drive to the area where the attack would take place.
14. A witness said he was a trainer and that one of his clients was Smollett.
15. On Feb. 19, Chicago police recovered a photocopy of a check for $3,500 written by Smollett.
16. That same day, immediately before the grand jury was scheduled to convene, it was postponed. Smollett and his attorney asked to meet with the Cook County state’s attorney Feb. 20 to discuss new information.
17. After the grand jury convened, Chicago police were informed that the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office was prepared to approve felony charges against Smollett.
18. On March 19, Chicago police stated their reason for reclassification: “Investigation revealed that a plan formulated and put into play by Smollett to conduct a staged incident where Smollett was beaten by (redacted) and (redacted) posing as persons other than themselves.”
19. Chicago police obtained, via subpoena, video footage from Orso’s restaurant that showed a vehicle that “looked to be consistent with Sun Cab #904.”
20. Chicago police obtained video footage from an unknown store that shows two subjects paying cash for “a facemask, knit caps, gloves, a red hat, and sunglasses.”
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