Footage released Monday by Chicago police shows officers entering the apartment of Jussie Smollett while the former “Empire” actor is wearing a noose around his neck.
Authorities released hundreds of clips, comprising nearly 70 hours of video, CBS Chicago reported. The footage showing the noose around Smollett’s neck was said to be taken by a police body camera after the actor in January reported that he was attacked by anti-gay racists.
According to CBS Chicago, Smollett, 37, a former star of Fox’s “Empire,” asked officers to turn off their body cams soon after they entered his apartment.
Last week, Cook County Michael Toomin ruled that charges against Smollett could be reinstated on “reasonable grounds.”
Toomin said a special prosecutor should be appointed in the case of the actor, who was charged with 16 counts of felony disorderly conduct for allegedly staging a hate crime attack against himself for publicity, CBS Chicago reported. The office of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx dismissed all charges against Smollett in March.
The yet-to-be-appointed special prosecutor would be permitted to bring new charges against the beleaguered celebrity.
Jussie Smollett noose footage renews an old controversy
Smollett reported to the Chicago Police Department on the evening of Jan. 29 that he had been jumped by two masked men outside his apartment. He said they called him racist and homophobic slurs and shouted, “This is ‘MAGA’ country!” According to his account, they 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 President Donald Trump’s America.
In February, Smollett was arrested and charged with staging the crime in an apparent effort to garner attention and sympathy. Fox cut ties with the actor shortly thereafter, removing him from the final two episodes of the season.