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Smollett Now Suspect In His Own Case, In Police Custody

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UPDATE
Officials speaking to ABC said that the actor is expected to appear in court at 1:30 p.m. today in Cook County. Officials speaking to ABC, as of Thursday morning, now say the actor turned himself in to authorities and that more information will be available at a 9 a.m. press conference.

By: Jeanette Saumur

“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett may have made the biggest mistake of his life. In what started as a terrible crime against a black and gay actor now appears to be a setup as police moved to “officially” classify Smollett as a suspect in an ongoing criminal investigation. The news, being reported on by CNN, may be the most dramatic turn this topsy-turvy story has taken yet, as Chicago police charge him on allegations of filing a false police report.

The day couldn’t have been much worse for Smollett, who not only faces a Class 4 felony charge but also appears to be having his financial records close to being looked at by detectives, according to CNN. He’s also supposed to give another interview to law enforcement but appears to have not done so as of Wednesday night. CNN also reported that there’s surveillance footage of the two alleged attackers purchasing masks, gloves, and other gear used the night of the alleged incident.

Chicago police initially arrested Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo over a week ago, but developments in the case led to the police later declaring them not suspects anymore, for now at least, according to police.

On January 29, 2019, Jussie Smollett, a 36-year-old, gay black actor on the Fox drama series Empire, told police he had been assaulted outside his apartment building at 2 a.m. on a snowy Chicago night by two men in ski masks who identified him as the Empire actor, hurled racial and anti-gay slurs at him, draped a makeshift noose around his neck, and tossed some bleach on him before disappearing. TMZ reported that sources claimed the attackers had boasted to Smollett, “This is MAGA country”; he confirmed this in a follow-up interview with the police.

The Jewish Voice has been reporting on this ever-changing story. A pair of Trump supporters, as the original story goes, were walking the icy streets of Chicago at 2 a.m. with a noose and bleach when they recognized a little-known actor from a TV show no white supremacist would watch, assaulted him without causing any more physical damage than a scratch on his cheek but managed to get a noose around his neck, and then made sure to announce that “This is MAGA country”? Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago is “Make America Great Again” country? Who knew?

But Democrat politicians and celebrities leapt to Smollett’s defense and denounced the Trump-inspired white supremacism that clearly was the culprit. Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, both 2020 presidential hopefuls, described the attack as a modern-day lynching. Booker wasted no time pushing Congress to pass the federal Anti-Lynching Bill he and Harris co-sponsored.

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