The Jussie Smollett case can only be called called extremely bizarre at this point. According to UpNewsInfo, the former Empire actor reported being attacked back in January 2019. He reported that it was a group of racist Trump supporters. The entire story has turned into a nationwide persecution, not against the perpetrators, but against Smollett himself. The Chicago Police Department, which at the time was being led by Superintendent Eddie Johnson, investigated the alleged crime and came to the conclusion that Jussie was simply lying so they tried accusing the actor and calling his story “deception.”
Johnson Fired by the Mayor of Chicago
Now, in a stunning turn of events, Johnson himself has been unexpectedly fired only a few weeks prior to his scheduled retirement date, putting an abrupt end to a difficult period of three-years at the head of a department that had been fraught with controversies, and the Smollett case was one of the largest controversies of all. When Mayor Lori Lightfoot made her shocking announcement of the unexpected dismissal, she also suggested that Johnson’s personal failures were the cause of his untimely firing. She basically implied that it was due to the Smollett incident although she never actually used his name, calling the problem a string of intolerable ethical failures. She also stated that Johnson lied to her on a number of occasions, although he claimed that he was telling the truth.
Who is He Anyway?
Although what most people know about Jussie Smollett is that he was on the TV series,Â Empire, however, according to WikipediaÂ he actually started his career as an actor when he was just a child, appearing in films and TV shows that include:
- The Mighty Ducks (1992)
- Rob Reiner’s NorthÂ (1994)
- On Our OwnÂ (1994 to 1995)
- The SkinnyÂ (2012)
- The Mindy ProjectÂ (2017)
- RevengeÂ (2014)
- Live with Kelly (guest host of six episodes in 2016)
Smollett has also received a number of nominations for his part as Jamal Lyon onÂ EmpireÂ between 2015 and 2019, including:
- The BET Best Actor Award
- The Teen Choice Award- TV Actor- Drama
- The Teen Choice Award- TV Breakout Star-
- The NAACP Image Award- Outstanding Supporting Actor- Drama Series.
Timeline of Events in the Case
According to the BBC
January 29, 2019: The Alleged Incident
Chicago police reported an investigation into a suspected homophobic and racist attack by two masked men that was perpetrated against Jussie Smollett at approximately 2am. The actor was allegedly hit in the face and an unknown chemical was poured on him. In addition, a rope was tied around Smollett’s neck. He told the police that the attackers made reference to MAGA (make America great again). This is a slogan that has often been used by President Trump and supporters. Smollett saw a doctor and was reportedly in good condition.
January 30, 2918: Celebrity Support
There was an outpouring of support for Smollett, including stars like:
- A. Viola Davis
- B. Steve Harvey
- C. Janelle Monet
- D. TI
- E. Empire co-star Grace Byers
- F. Empire co-star Naomi Campbell
- G. Empire creator Lee Daniels
January 31, 2019: Refuses to Give Up His Phone
Smollett outright refused to give his phone to the police officers who were investigating the attack. Why did they want it anyway? For the purpose of confirming the details, which included the MAGA reference since Smollett reported being on the phone with his manager when he was attacked. The next day, police said that Smollett was a victim so he shouldn’t be treated like a criminal, then they dropped their demand for the phone.
February 1, 2019: Smollett Speaks Out For First Time
He stated that he was fine following the incident and that the outpouring of support and love from his village means more to him than he could ever put into words. He then added that he was working with authorities being 100 percent consistent and factual on everything. At that time, Chicago police also released photos of two people of interest. Further, the Chief Communications Officer, Anthony Guglielmi, stated that their detectives were taking the development very seriously.
February 2, 2019: The Gay Tupac?
During a long-planned concert, Smollett made more comments regarding the incident. He stated that he wasn’t fully-healed yet because there had been a lot of stuff that was said about him that’s absolutely untrue but, above all, he had fought back. He finished by saying that he was “the gay Tupac”. He never did explain what that meant.
February 11, 2019: Smollett Submitted Phone Records
Smollett gave police officers a PDF file containing his phone records after initially refusing to do so. However, some files had been redacted and other parts covered up. Chicago PD stated that there wasn’t any reason for suspecting any wrongdoing on the part of Smollett and weren’t even considering charges related to filing a false police report.
February 14, 2019: Arrest of ‘Persons of Interest’
The two brothers were arrested and interviewed by the Chicago PD, however, they weren’t charged.
February 17, 2019: Investigation Trajectory Shifts
Chicago PD announce new developments just one day after releasing the Osundairo brothers with no charges.
February 20, 2019: Smollett is charged by Chicago PD
According to Chicago PD, he’s charged with filing a false police report and disorderly conduct.
February 21, 2019: Smollett Arrested
February 22, 2019: Smollett suspended from Empire
March 14, 2019: Smollett pleads not guilty
March 26, 2019: Smollett cleared of all charges
March 27, 2019: Case Closed
March 28, 2019: President Trump calls the Smollett case ‘an embarrassment to the nation’
March 29, 2019: Smollett ordered to pay for Chicago PD overtime
April 12, 2019: Smollett is Sued by the City of Chicago
Currently, Smollett is suing the Chicago PD for slander with his legal team saying that they have recently discovered “harmful documents against members of the Chicago police.” So, the question now is whether he was telling the truth all along? Sadly, he was already fired fromÂ Empire,Â his reputation damaged, and his career put on hold before anybody even considered that question and giving him the benefit of the doubt. And, that includes our President. ” Embarrassment to the nation?” Hmmmm.