The Chicago Police Department file on Jussie Smollett reportedly includes significant video and documentary evidence showing that the “Empire” actor’s alleged hate crime was staged.
The U.K. Daily Mail reported obtaining the material as part of Freedom of Information Act request, which shows that “cops had amassed a treasure trove of evidence to back up the charges.”
At a news conference on Tuesday, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson stood by his investigators’ findings that Smollett committed a “hoax” when he filed a police report on Jan. 29, claiming he was the victim of a hate crime.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office announced earlier in the day that it was dropping all 16 felony counts against Smollett relating to filing a false police report and said the record of the case would be sealed. Smollett faced the possibility of serving years in jail.
First Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats, who handled the case, told reporters that the 36-year-old actor would only have to do community service and had agreed to forfeit his $10,000 bail to the city.
Magats pointed out the agreement is not an “exoneration” of Smollett, and the prosecutor still believes he filed a false police report, based on the facts uncovered by investigators.
Nonetheless, the state’s attorney characterized the agreement as a fair and just outcome in the case.
Johnson disagreed, telling reporters he did not think justice was served and that Smollett owed the city an apology.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel laid into the actor for still claiming to be innocent.
“This is a whitewash of justice,” Emanuel said at a news conference after prosecutors announced the charges would be dropped.
“A grand jury could not have been clearer.
“Mr. Smollett is still saying that he is innocent,” he added. “Still running down the Chicago Police Department. How dare him? How dare him? This is not the superintendent’s word against his.
“The grand jury (saw) a sliver of the evidence (and) came to a conclusion, as did the state’s attorney’s office … And even after this whitewash, still no sense of ownership of what he’s done. He says, in fact, that he is the wronged in this case.”
Emanuel said the $10,000 did not even come close to paying the cost to the city of investigating Smollett’s alleged hate crime attack, which ultimately resulted in a multi-count indictment against the actor.
According to the Daily Mail, the police file included a canceled $3,500 check, signed by Smollett, paid to Abel and Ola Osundairo to allegedly carry out the attack.
The brothers said it was handed over to them on Jan. 27, two days before the incident.
They also told investigators they received $100 in cash to pay for the props used in the staged attack.
Smollett’s attorney, Tina Glandian, said the check was for personal training and nutrition services by the brothers, NBC News reported.
She claimed that Osundairos are lying about her client paying them to stage the attack.
The police file also included an admission by one of the brothers, whose name was redacted, of admitting to filling a hot sauce bottle with bleach, which he poured on Smollett during the attack.
“The file says police accessed Smollett’s iCloud account to prove he had been messaging the brothers and obtained footage from inside the actor’s luxury apartment block, as well as from the Sheraton hotel opposite,” the Daily Mail reported.
Additionally, police evidence included footage from a Korean beauty store where the Osundairo brothers were filmed purchasing supplies for the attack.
Smollett was also caught on camera with one of the brothers in his Mercedes SUV on Jan. 25, four days before the attack, and again on Jan. 27.
The Chicago PD told the Daily Mail that the department would not be able to comment on the information the news outlet previously obtained through its FOIA request due to a judge’s order on Tuesday that the investigation evidence now is sealed.
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