Jussie Smollett Now an Official Suspect According to Chicago Police
Jussie Smollett is now officially under investigation.
After weeks of investigation into Smollett’s claim of being attacked last month by two men who shouted racist and homophobic slurs while physically beating him and leaving him with a rope tied around his neck, the Chicago Police Department on Wednesday evening officially classified Smollett as a suspect in an ongoing criminal investigation for filing a false report.
The tweet goes on to say this is a Class 4 felony and detectives are currently presenting evidence before a Cook County grand jury.
Case Update: Jussie Smollett is now officially classified as a suspect in a criminal investigation by #ChicagoPolice for filing a false police report (Class 4 felony). Detectives are currently presenting evidence before a Cook County Grand Jury. pic.twitter.com/FhDcbBKsuU
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 20, 2019
TMZ reported the brothers who said Smollett hired them to stage the alleged attack were caught on surveillance video first posted by CBS2 in Chicago — buying items they used during the incident.
The video shows Ola and Abel Osundairo at the checkout counter, where they piled up ski masks, gloves, bandanas, sunglasses, and red hats.
My colleague @vincefloress who is at courthouse says brothers and their attorney walked into Grand Jury room at 3:46. @cbschicago https://t.co/GT6h2g6Y9a
— Charlie De Mar (@CharlieDeMar) February 20, 2019
At one point, Abel pulled his hoodie over his head, perhaps in an effort to hide his face, but he’d already been seen clearly in the video. According to CBS2, they bought the items the day before the attack.
According to TMZ, Smollett said his attackers were wearing ski masks, and police seized red hats when they raided the brothers’ home in Chicago — and the surveillance image police released appeared to show the brothers with their faces concealed under the masks.
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Lawyers for the Empire actor were meeting Wednesday with prosecutors and police investigators, a police official said. TMZ reported the brothers were at court Tuesday, ready to testify to a grand jury, but were called off at the last minute because Smollett’s attorneys were going to speak to police.
The Osundairos were arrested last week but later released without charges.
Sources have said the two brothers told police they helped stage the attack with Smollett. They said they were paid $3,500 to pour a chemical on the actor and place a rope around his neck while yelling racist and homophobic slurs.
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The two brothers told police Smollett also was behind creating a racist letter sent to the show, according to two sources with first-hand knowledge of the investigation.
When that letter did not get a “bigger reaction,” Smollett orchestrated the attack a week later with the two men, sources said.