Chicago Police held a press conference on the arrest of Jussie Smollett. Smollett turned himself in to police at approximately 5 am Thursday morning and is facing a Class 4 felony charge (punishable for up to 3 years in prison) for disorderly conduct in falsifying a police report. A bond hearing is scheduled for 1:30 pm in Cook County Criminal Court.
Smollett paid two brothers to stage the January 29 hate crime against him. Watch the full press conference:
Opening the presser, Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said, “I just wish that the families of gun violence in this city got this much attention, because that’s who really deserves the amount of attention that we’re giving to this particular incident.”
Speaking of the staged racist and homophobic attack, Johnson said, “‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.”
Johnson said “This stunt was orchestrated by Smollett because he was dissatisfied with his salary, so he concocted a story about being attacked.”
Said Johnson: “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?”
Added Johnson: “Bogus police reports cause real harm. They do harm to every legitimate victim who’s in need of support by police and investigators.”
“I’m also concerned about what this means moving forward for hate crimes,” said Johnson. “My concern is that hate crimes will now publicly be met with a level of skepticism that previously didn’t happen.”
Johnson said that police have the $3,500 check that Smollett wrote to the brothers to pay them for the staged attack.
Police also released Smollett’s mugshot.
Follow all our Jussie Smollett coverage HERE.