“Mr. Smollett forfeited his bond. The case is closed.”
The FBI is now looking into the circumstances surrounding the dismissed criminal charges against embattled actor Jussie Smollett, two law enforcement officials confirmed to ABC affiliate ABC7.
In response to a Freedom of Information Act Request from the the ABC7 I-Team, the Chicago Police Department released Wednesday the investigative file for Smollett’s case. Contained within were details describing how Smollett was processed and police’s contacts with the two Nigerian brothers alleged to have helped the actor stage a fake hate crime against himself.
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The report reveals Smollett was never “handcuffed, placed in a cell or subjected to the media.” It also reveals that the Cook County Jail where the “Empire” star would be held was cleared of other prisoners before his arrival. Authorities honored Smollett’s request to “be kept segregated and housed alone until his attendance in bond court.”
Smollett’s case has ignited a firestorm of controversy after prosecutors announced Monday that all charges against him had been dropped.
The Chicago Police Department is “furious” about the decision, according to reports.
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Local media said police are confident in their evidence against the actor, who was last month charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct after being accused of staging a fake hate crime against himself on Jan. 29.
Much of the broader public was similarly outraged by Cook County prosecutors’ decision to drop the charges. Conservatives, many of whom were skeptical of Smollett’s claims from early on, were particularly incensed by the news that his prosecution would not continue. Some voiced suspicion that his ties to Hollywood and prominent Democrats had been a factor.
Smollett’s attorney, Patricia Brown Holmes, released a statement Wednesday, claiming that Chicago officials were running a “smear campaign” and had “violated” her client’s rights.
“We are disappointed the local authorities have continued their campaign against Jussie Smollett after the charges against him have been dropped. The facts are clear,” Patricia Brown Holmes said in a statement. “The Assistant State’s Attorney appeared in court and dismissed the charges. Mr. Smollett forfeited his bond. The case is closed. No public official has the right to violate Mr. Smollett’s due process rights.”
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Smollett, 36, black and gay former star of Fox’s “Empire” TV show, reported to Chicago Police Department on Jan. 29 that he was assaulted by two masked men who called him racist and homophobic slurs and shouted “This is ‘MAGA’ country!” He said his assailants poured what he believed was bleach on him and put a noose around his neck.
Police at first investigated the incident as a possible hate crime, and many other celebrities, activists, politicians, and journalists rushed to condemn not just the attackers but the supposed state of Trump’s America.
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