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Jussie Smollett Under Arrest on Felony Charge for Filing False Police Report

Jussie Smollett Under Arrest on Felony Charge for Filing False Police Report

“If convicted, he faces up to three years in jail…”

Empire actor Jussie Smollett turned himself into the Chicago Police Department early Thursday morning after the Cook County States Attorney charged him with a class 4 felony on Wednesday for filing a false police report.

CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson said “Smollett paid $3,500 to stage the attack because he was dissatisfied with his salary.”

Smollett will appear in court at 1:30PM CT.

***We will update this post as more information comes out.

3:30PM: Smollett told prosecutors what happened:

3:20PM: Smollett received a bail of $100,000. He must surrender his passport and appear in court on March 14.

11:07AM: CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson gave a powerful press conference where he lashed at out at Smollett for the fake hate crime. Smollett staged the attack due to dissatisfaction of his salary. From CBS Chicago:

“Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career,” Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said at a news conference Thursday morning. “This publicity stunt was a scar that Chicago didn’t earn, and certainly didn’t deserve.”

Police said, in reality, Smollett had paid those two men, Ola and Abel Osundairo, $3,500 by check to stage the attack. CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar has reported Smollett also directed the brothers to buy the noose at a hardware story and the hat and masks a store in Uptown. Johnson said police have the check.

“I’m left hanging my head and asking why. Why would anyone, especially an African American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? How could someone look at the hatred and suffering associated with that symbol and see an opportunity to manipulate that symbol to further his own public profile?” Johnson said. “How can an individual who’s been embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in this city in the face by making these false claims?”

Johnson said the facial wounds on Smollett were self inflicted.

Johnson now fears “that hate crimes will now publicly be met with a level of skepticism that previously didn’t happen.”

10:10AM: You can watch the livestream of the police conference here:

10:07AM: They have released Jussie’s mugshot.

8:30AM CT: From The Chicago Tribune:

Smollett, 36, turned himself in early Thursday, according to police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. He is scheduled to appear for a bond hearing later in the day. If convicted, he faces up to three years in jail and could be ordered to pay for the cost of the investigation, which involved more than 20 detectives over three weeks.

Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson has scheduled a news conference to discuss the case at 9 a.m. Thursday. Accompanying him will be the detective commander of Area Central, which handled the investigation.

Smollett claimed two white men attacked him at 2:30AM on January 29. He said the men poured bleach on him, placed a noose around his neck, and yelled, “This is MAGA country.”

His story unraveled every day since then. Sources poured out information to local media that investigators believed Smollett paid brothers Ola and Abel Osundairo to attack him.

From CBS Chicago:

The Osundairos were arrested last week, but later released without charges.

Sources have said the two brothers told police they helped stage the attack with Smollett. They said they were paid $3,500 to pour a chemical on the actor, and place a rope around his neck, while yelling racist and homophobic slurs.

The two brothers told police Smollett also was behind creating a racist letter sent to the show, according to two sources with first-hand knowledge of the investigation.

When that letter did not get a “bigger reaction,” Smollett orchestrated the attack a week later with the two men, sources said.

The Chicago Tribune has more on that letter:

A week before he says he was attacked by two men yelling slurs, “Empire” star Jussie Smollett reported receiving a small white envelope addressed to him in a thick red scrawl at the Fox production studios on the West Side.

Smollett told police he and the show’s executive producer used gloves to open the envelope. Inside was a sheet of white paper with a threat in cut-out letters: “You will die black fag.” There was white powder in the envelope, but it was later determined to be crushed acetaminophen, a pain reliever found in Tylenol, police said.

Witnesses told police a postal worker dropped off the letter. It was postmarked in southwest suburban Bedford Park on Jan. 18, four days earlier, and bore two American flag stamps. The letters MAGA were written, also in red ink, in the upper-left corner of the envelope.

The FBI crime lab has possession of the letter for analysis.


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This is almost as satisfying as UNC beating Dook last night.

Such a dumb plan from such a small man.

    MajorWood in reply to hrhdhd. | February 21, 2019 at 10:39 am

    Carolina beating Dook in Cameron AND Obummer sitting with the Dook students while it happened.

    If God is not a Tar Heel, why is the sky Carolina Blue?

    MarkS in reply to hrhdhd. | February 21, 2019 at 11:19 am

    I wanna know that since I’m a straight white male Trump supporter if I can sue for slander and defamation?

      Milhouse in reply to MarkS. | February 21, 2019 at 3:22 pm

      No, you can’t. There’s no such thing as group defamation in this country, at least not for groups of any size.

So, I guess Empire will be doing a lot filming on location at the Cook County jail.

    EMPIRE: Behind Bars…..Episode 1

    Jussie: Guard..! Guard…! It’s time for my manicure…!!!!

    Guard: Sorry, Jussie…no manicures in the Big House…

    Jussie: What’s next…beat me with a rubber hose, ya screw?

Connivin Caniff | February 21, 2019 at 9:16 am

Let’s at least hope that he is required to make an abject apology to President Trump and all his MAGA followers, preferably by yelling it out all day on a street corner in Chicago, like they do in Japan, and of course while wearing a bright red MAGA hat

So how is this not a hate crime with enhances penalties?
He obviously intended to create some hate towards whites and Trump supporters and this wasn’t a spur of the moment while intoxicated scheme.
If it had actually been a real event, the perps sure would have been charged with a hate charge and likely face much more serious charges.

    Stan25 in reply to NGAREADER. | February 21, 2019 at 9:44 am

    Doncha ya know, only white people can be charged with hate crimes. White male Donald Trump supporters are at the top of the list.

      Milhouse in reply to Stan25. | February 21, 2019 at 3:24 pm

      That is utter bullshit. Black people are charged with hate crimes literally all the time. More often than white people are, actually.

        JusticeDelivered in reply to Milhouse. | February 21, 2019 at 5:01 pm

        There is at least two orders of magnitude more hate in his community than justified.

          Hatred is never justified. But the point I think you’re trying to make is fallacious. Yes, the overwhelming majority of interracial crime is committed by young black men, but the overwhelming majority of that is just ordinary crime, not motivated by hatred. Still, more hate-motivated crimes seem to be committed by black people than by white people, and the charging stats reflect that, thus disproving Stan25’s point.

    The entire “hate crime” routine is BS. It simply creates a class of preferred victims.

      Milhouse in reply to Rick. | February 21, 2019 at 3:33 pm

      It does no such thing. It doesn’t care who the victim is, only what the motive was. And motive has been a legitimate factor in sentencing for as long as our legal system has existed.

        Yeah, right. Your second sentence is one reason “hate crimes” are redundant BS.

          Milhouse in reply to Rick. | February 22, 2019 at 2:06 am

          No, they’re not. They make sure crimes committed for a particularly reprehensible motive are punished accordingly rather than leaving it to judges’ discretion, and they also make sure that the evidence actually proves that this was the motive, rather than allowing prosecutors to just accuse the defendant of it.

    Yes, an interesting take on the absurdity known as the modern hate crime. A victim who hates himself.

    Milhouse in reply to NGAREADER. | February 21, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    “A person commits hate crime when, by reason of the actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or national origin of another individual or group of individuals, regardless of the existence of any other motivating factor or factors, he or she commits assault, battery, aggravated assault, intimidation, stalking, cyberstalking, misdemeanor theft, criminal trespass to residence, misdemeanor criminal damage to property, criminal trespass to vehicle, criminal trespass to real property, mob action, disorderly conduct, transmission of obscene messages, harassment by telephone, or harassment through electronic communications”.

    This crime was not one of the above, and was also not committed because of the actual or perceived race, etc., of any individual or group. Therefore it cannot be hate crime.

      Hate crimes pervert due process. The evidenced adduced to support these alleged bad motivations cannot but operate to prejudice the fact finder against the defendant. A defendant may very well be moral garbage, but the conviction should be based on whether he committed the crime with the requisite Mens Rea, not whether society disapproves of his views. Moreover, it provides far too great a temptation for politically motivated prosecutors (there a few) to abuse the charging process to advance their own agendas.

        Milhouse in reply to AJR. | February 21, 2019 at 4:20 pm

        That’s garbage. Almost every criminal trial introduces evidence going to the defendant’s alleged motive. Often this is a key part of convincing the jury of his guilt. A “hate crime” prosecution has nothing to do with whether the defendant is “moral garbage”, nor with “whether society disapproves of his views”; it is entirely about whether he committed the crime and whether he did it for the specified motive. In order to allow the sentencing enhancement the prosecution must prove to the jury that this was indeed the motive. If the jury finds that the crime is proven but the motive is not, then there can be no enhancement.

          First, try to calm down. Second, I think you’re confusing motivation with intent or specific intent. Delving into subject so-called racist motivations is an exercise that should be discouraged in any fair, objective administration of justice.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | February 22, 2019 at 2:10 am

          No, I am not confusing motive with intent. Motive has always been a legitimate factor in sentencing. Hate crime laws endure that this particularly heinous motive, if proven, will always be appropriately reflected in sentencing.

          This is important particularly with petty crimes. There’s an enormous difference between tagging a house and painting a swastika on it. The latter targets and terrorizes an entire community, not just the immediate victim, and the sentence ought to reflect that.

          You’ve hit on some of the reasons why I so despise hate crimes. They expand the state’s power to punish so-called vile racist attitudes and they elevate the protection of collective rights, when the focus should be on the objective acts of the individual defendant and the victim. That and they’re absurdly redundant. No crime you cite wasn’t already illegal.

        AJR in reply to AJR. | February 22, 2019 at 7:46 pm

        Rather poorly phrased (and redundant) on my part considering that to be a crime means it’s already illegal, but as someone once said, redundancy is a strange thing.

He should also be be facing federal crimes of terrorism and mail fraud. I doubt anything will come out of the feds anytime soon. Those two crimes can be some serious federal time in Leavenworth. Five years alone on the mail fraud charge.

    Milhouse in reply to Stan25. | February 21, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    I can’t see either charge. Whom did he terrorize? He sent it to himself, so he knew the recipient would not be terrorized. And whom did he attempt to defraud? Unless the FBI can prove that the ultimate goal was to obtain money from somebody in a way that would satisfy all the elements of fraud, there’s no fraud case.


      He send the letter to himself, but he received it on set…
      So could it be said Mr Smollett inadvertently terrorized his fellow cast/crew members ? (they weren’t in on the scam)

      Apparently, one of the letters contained a white power (crushed up aspirin or such). That would have created even more anxiety…does Mr Smollett have any responsibility for the havoc he created on his own set ?

      Let’s see: He sent a false and misleading statement through the mails, which he knew was false and misleading, with the intent to induce others to act in reliance on the letter’s false and misleading text. He did induce others reasonable to rely on it and to act to their detriment on it. That is fraud, and the damages are all of the expenses incurred by others who acted in reasonable reliance on the fraudulent and misleading statement.

      ghost dog in reply to Milhouse. | February 21, 2019 at 7:31 pm

      Mailing the aspirin as a white powder to a location where other people could be exposed or concerned might be deemed terrorism but it’s a stretch. On the other hand there are federal laws regarding then mailing of over the counter pharmaceuticals.
      For nonprescription medicines, the mailer must meet all applicable federal, state, or local laws that may apply (such as the Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970 in 15 U.S.C. 1471(2) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission requirements in 16 CFR 1700).

      If you can’t see this, then you might want to consider a new prescription for those glasses. But I tend to think this might be another case of acting intentionally obtuse just to provoke a response.

      Mercyneal in reply to Milhouse. | February 22, 2019 at 7:34 am

      He attempted to defraud the police and the FBI, which have used valuable resources to investigate this fraud. He defrauded everyone. Surely you can’t be that dense.

    RandomCrank in reply to Stan25. | February 22, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    Why do you doubt anything will come from the feds very soon? They’ve had a grand jury looking at Smollett for a couple weeks.

mister naturel | February 21, 2019 at 9:58 am

is there any way he could be sued civilly for bearing false witness and slandering millions of innocent men?

    JusticeDelivered in reply to mister naturel. | February 21, 2019 at 10:38 am

    As in a class action? It would be kind of funny if the bulk of his earnings were being garnished for decades to come.

    No. There is no such thing as group defamation in the USA.

      JusticeDelivered in reply to Milhouse. | February 21, 2019 at 5:15 pm

      I agree, but I thought the suggestion was funny. Especially if he happened to read it and spent some time sweating.

      Perhaps ten or so years ago I was having a discussion with a very sharp corporate attorney for a fortune 500 firm. He was gay, and I had noticed that their are quite a few very smart high performing gays. Which then led to me wondering if gays statistically had a higher intelligence. Otherwise, one would expect gayness to be bred out of the gene pool. Most gay men historically have had some children.

      His response that that there were plenty of stupid gays.

      Clearly, Smollett is one of those.

smalltownoklahoman | February 21, 2019 at 10:07 am

Don’t waste the police’s time and resources with false reports, should be common sense which apparently he didn’t have enough of.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to smalltownoklahoman. | February 21, 2019 at 10:47 am

    It is all about culture, a culture were people feel entitled to break the law, entitled to be racists while trying to shakedown people of other races. It is about bald faced hypocrisy.

This morning’s San Diego Union-Tribune had an article, “Actor Charged with Filing False Report,” which does not mention the Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and lynching legislation connection that has The_Donald buzzing.

It is also missing the juicy detail that video of the Nigerian brothers shopping for supplies for the “attack” has surfaced.

Smollette has recent publicity pictures circulating that show him with Harris and Cory Booker, so the obvious question is whether this whole stunt was orchestrated for political purposes by some US Senators, or if Smollette thought it up all on his little lonesome.

A real free press would be full of questions about this possible collusion.

Well, he just needs to look on the bright side… Although he might not work again as an actor, he’s still have a great source of boyfriends

I guess he didn’t have a non-disclosure clause with the Nigerians.

It gets even better when one considers that the head Po-Po revealed that 20 detectives worked on it for 3 weeks. If he is assessed that cost as a plea-bargain, 60 weeks of detective pay (and benefits, etc) will take a good chunk of his salary, if not his job, away. The head Po-Po also fears that future hate crimes will be met with skepticism. Uh Du-UH! They already are. I doubt that those detectives put in all of those hours trying to solve the “hate crime.” They were trying to prove what they really suspected, like most of us from the beginning, that it was a hoax. And the reason that he thought he could get away with it w/o punishment is that few, if any, suffer any consequences when they do it. I suspect he thought that the upside/downside was overwhelmingly in his favor, based on previous incidents. And yes, I am aware that when I use the word “thought” that I am assuming facts not in evidence. I suspect that he employed as much thought as the guy who says “hold my beer.”

    Milhouse in reply to MajorWood. | February 21, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    The head Po-Po also fears that future hate crimes will be met with skepticism. Uh Du-UH! They already are.

    Yeah, it’s a little late for that. The default assumption nowadays has to be that any such report is false until proven true.

Talk about self fulfilling prophecy. He was hearing rumors of him being written out of Empire, and now he will be once he starts doing some time. And he might as well forget about future work , even if he beats the rap. How bad are your acting skills that you couldn’t set up a staged lynching in CHICAGO?!? (definitely NOT MAGA country) All facets: acting, directing to scripting to producing. All facets of this fake lynching were handled badly from a production / show point of view. HE wasn’t any good at any part of it.

Too Funny, do you know what is salary is……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..?

    MarkSmith in reply to MarkSmith. | February 21, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    His salary according to Breitbart is:

    Empire actor Jussie Smollett staged an attack on himself last month because he was dissatisfied with his salary from the hit drama, a salary that was over $1 million per year , according to new reports.

“Smollett, 36, turned himself in early Thursday,…”

What? No SWAT team of 29 fully decked out in tactical gear? Guess that is only “standard procedure” for arrests of people who allegedly made false statements and are known to the President.

Jussie won’t have a felony conviction. They’ll walk it down to some insignificant misdemeanor, he’ll pay a fine, do some community service and he’ll go on his merry way.

    Mercyneal in reply to Sanddog. | February 22, 2019 at 7:33 am

    He is also being investigated by the FBI for sending a hate letter with a white substance. That is a very serious crime which carries a heavier sentence. He is not going to get off so lightly.

Jesse, I won’t cut fresh flowers for you
Jesse, I won’t make the wine cold for you
Jesse, I won’t change the sheets for you
I won’t put on cologne
I won’t sit by the phone for you

The FBI crime lab has possession of the letter for analysis.

FBI may have already decided to let him off, in which case the evidence won’t matter. They’ll say he’s too stupid to prosecute, or something. I recall a high-profile investigation dying when some FBI bigwig did just that. It was recent, and involved somebody pretty well-known . . . I can’t put my finger on it . . .

He’ll get off by claiming he was scammed by 2 Nigerians. The proof?…he wrote them a check! Anyone who watches “Law and Order” knows that you pay criminal accomplices in cash, not a check! He was just trying to help a couple of down-on-their-luck Nigerian princes launder some money, not commit a hate hoax.

Don’t believe his idiotic line that he did it because of is salary. Don’t believe it.

    murkyv in reply to Yamamma. | February 21, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    Hard to square that line from the Chief, since Juicy has a long, documented public history of unhinged Trump hatred

Don’t believe his idiotic line that he did this because he was dissatisfied with his salary. Don’t believe it.

don’t care that he’s black–don’t care that he’s homosexual–don’t care who he worships or if he does–don’t care about his politics-don’t care what he does for a living–DO care that planned and staged this entire event for his own selfish reasons and did so with the intent to malign/disparage/vilify white people in general and trump supporters in particular

we are not living in miller’s little tale about salem–this is real life where what he did could have had significant effects on a lot of innocent people–this is a thoughtless and dangerous crime against his countrymen–simply despicable–he should be prosecuted and put in jail

mature men and women admit their mistakes, face the consequences and move on–adolescents and children make excuses, lie to cover or distract from their culpability
he may be an adult though he’s acting/living like a spoiled child–regardless, he has committed an adult crime and should face serious consequences–it is not society’s obligation to tolerate or to have to raise 30+ year-old children

“If convicted, he faces up to three years in jail…”

Reality is he’s facing three book deals or life in Democrat politics.

On a more serious note, I wonder about the possibility of a variation of “Arkenside” as a solution to this situation. I don’t think he is built for thug life, and as more and more of his current situation disappears forever, he might be backed into a position of desperation that involves spilling the beans on people who might have put him up to this, as some have speculated here and other places. I took suicide calls at night for two years and our training indicated that high-risk people are those who have lost a lot very quickly. If he were my friend (trust me, my friends ARE better people) I would have him on a 24/7 watch pronto. But we also have a story which has gone south fast, and with embarrassing links to higher-profiled people. I would be shocked if there weren’t people who were thinking along the lines of how a “suicide” by this distraught young man would quickly tie up some loose ends AND also provide a new narrative to bash Trump because Trump supporters have been relentlessly mocking and persecuting this fine, young, and still legally innocent man. OK, I watch too much of The Wire and Breaking Bad, but the stakes here seem to be much higher just below the surface cow flop.