Roughly three weeks after he had initially claimed to have been the victim of a racist and homophobic “hate crime,” television star Jussie Smollett increasingly looks as though he had not only arranged a staged attack but was even willing to allow for random and innocent strangers to be arrested and charged for the alleged crime.
TMZ — which was the first to issue reports on the alleged hate crime against the “Empire” actor — is now reporting on a number of concerning bits of information shared by unnamed sources “connected to the investigation” within the Chicago Police Department.
Chief among the revelations was that when Smollett was asked by law enforcement in the early days of the investigation if he wanted to file formal complaints against his alleged assailants, Smollett indicated he was more than willing to do so.
However, once the identities of the two men taken into custody were revealed — a pair of brothers Smollett had befriended — he suddenly declined the opportunity to press charges, instead telling investigators he knew the two men and felt bad for them.
Consider for a moment that, particularly in light of the increasing evidence the whole ordeal was an elaborate hoax, Smollett appeared perfectly willing to let two unknown individuals take the fall for his staged crime.
Had the two men arrested by law enforcement not been Smollett’s friends, the actor may very well have stood by while those innocent individuals were charged, prosecuted and sent to jail for a crime that never even occurred.
While the police investigation would likely have ultimately cleared those innocent individuals prior to them serving any real time, the same cannot be easily said for how those wrongly framed people would have fared in the court of public opinion, given the media’s current circus-like state of affairs and repeated rushes to judgement before all facts in a case have emerged.
But that was far from the only major revelation provided to TMZ by its law enforcement sources, as it was also reported that Smollett’s case will likely be presented to a grand jury as soon as next week.
If that is indeed the case, Smollett could soon be facing charges of filing a false report with the police, not to mention wasting precious and limited law enforcement resources to investigate what increasingly appears to be a non-existent crime.
The law enforcement sources also told TMZ that the two brothers who claim to have been hired by Smollett to stage the attack are being kept under the watchful eye of the police somewhere in downtown Chicago. Specifically, the police are watching to ensure Smollett doesn’t attempt to make contact with those two men.
According to TMZ, the sources also revealed that in the course of the search of the brothers’ apartment, authorities seized magazines from which pages had been torn out. There is a possibility that those magazine pages were used to cut out the letters that were pasted to create a threatening letter Smollett claimed to have received about a week prior to the alleged attack, meaning the letter could have been a hoax as well.
On top of all of that, TMZ reported that its sources said police had been highly skeptical and suspicious of Smollett’s claims from the very start, largely due to a number of “red flags” that were immediately noticed.
First and foremost among those was Smollett’s apparent knowledge of the location of various surveillance cameras in the area of the alleged attack, which he had pointed out to investigators when taken to the scene of the purported crime. The only problem was, the camera that Smollett had directly pointed to — which he seemed to believe had caught the assault on video — was pointed in the opposite direction.
Another significant red flag in the case, according to TMZ, was Smollett’s claim that the two assailants had shouted “This is MAGA country” as they assaulted him, an obvious reference to President Donald Trump — whom Smollett has publicly criticized — and his famed “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan.
Also, Smollett’s television show is the story of a hip hop music mogul and his warring family. Not the normal entertainment fare that could be expected in conservative Republican circles.
According to TMZ, one of its sources said bluntly, “Not a single Trump supporter watches ‘Empire.'”
In addition to all of that, the sources reported that the movement of the two brothers on the night of the incident had been tracked by the police via surveillance cameras, including their use of two separate vehicles — either taxi cabs or a rideshare — on their journey home. TMZ reported that one source described the action as being “almost like a bad spy movie.”
In the end, this looks like little more than a lame plot concocted by Smollett to garner attention and sympathy while smearing Trump and his supporters.
But Smollett’s story is rapidly unraveling now, and the fact that he appeared willing to let complete strangers receive the blame for his hateful hoax means he deserves no sympathy whatsoever, but should instead serve the same sort of sentence they would have received if found guilty of the alleged hate crime.
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