Photo Credit: Victoria Will/Invision/AP
A new turn has taken place in the Jussie Smollett case where Chicago police sources are stating they believe Jussie Smollett paid to have his attack committed. Yesterday the two Nigerians that were arrested in suspicion of battery, Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo were released that evening but only because strong new information on the case was said to have been found. Today, CNN has reported that their police sources have records from a local Ace Hardware that the two Nigerian brothers purchased the rope from there. Chicago police have reached out to Jussie Smollett saying they need to speak to him again.
There have been grumblings from Chicago media that there were police sources who felt this was all staged and that we could expect a strong possibility of Jussie being charged but for good reason, the Chicago police department denied this because official statements can’t be made without conclusive evidence and it has to be based on fact.
As for what this might mean for Jussie Smollett’s future, talks of him being written off of the show were in the media this week which Fox Studios categorically denied. If true, it’s hard to imagine a way that he could remain on the show with this in his background. As for the legal ramifications, filing a false police report is a class 4 felony in Chicago and so is obstructing justice which may have occurred at the time. Remember he was asked for his phone records to corroborate the claim that he was indeed speaking to his manager at the time of attack… and he turned in a set of redacted phone records several days later. It also isn’t clear if he’s ever given the correct phone records they asked for after they declined them saying it was possible they could have been edited. There is a lot of overcrowding in the Illinois prison system so it’s possible he may receive a suspended sentence but it is expected that a judge would take this seriously. And each felony is a possible 1-3 years in prison.
CNN’s legal analyst Joey Jackson said there were several red flags here from the face that Jussie did not immediately report on his attack, he was on the phone with his manager at 2am and declined to turn over adequate phone records. He also repeatedly expressed how what he did had to be prosecuted as a deterrent to make sure a clear message is sent to others that this is wrong and has strict punishments.
Additional details will be reported on as they come.
(Updated typo from previous tweet)
— Charlie De Mar (@CharlieDeMar) February 17, 2019