Jussie Smollett – Empire star and actor accused of a hate crime against himself at the end of January – has been acquitted of all charges.
A racist and homophobic letter arrived in the Empire set on January 22. Almost a week later, on February 28, Smollett was reportedly attacked by two white men with ski masks.
According to TMZ, the attackers put a noose around his neck and spit hateful words about Smollet’s race and sexual orientation. Smollett checked that same evening in a hospital in Chicago. Shortly after the attack, the Smollett family expressed support and sentenced the attackers. Smollet would speak for the first time February 1 about the attack.
At the end of February, the Chicago Police Department (CPD) reported that they had reason to believe that the attack had been stepped up, and many assumed it was a publicity stunt that Smollett coordinated. However, his underlying motivation remained unclear (and salary reasons did not seem convincing).
CNN reported that the CPD thought Smollet might have paid the attackers because the police had documents from the accused men who were buying the rope they used to wrap Smollet’s neck. Despite these consequences, the Smollet charges have been dropped.
Chicago Mayor and the Police Superintendent still think Jussie Smollet staged the attack
According to CNN, the Mayor of Chicago and the Chief Inspector of Police still have reason to believe that Jussie Smollett organized the attack. In addition, the principal investigator reported that he believes Smollett has also committed a crime.
The question for everyone: how exactly could Smollett remove all charges? A few CNN analysts sat down to find out what exactly happened and explain the likely reasoning behind the court’s decision.
Not enough concrete evidence against Jussie Smollett
Although the authorities had footage of the men involved in the attack by buying ski masks, sunglasses, and other suspicious items, they did not have images of the actual attack, CNN said.
The defense has probably seen the gaps in the Prosecution’s case, since the evidence put forward, although very convincing, was mostly indirect. However, since one of the attackers was Smollett’s personal trainer, there is still reason to be suspicious.
Sara Azari, a lawyer for prosecution, said to CNN, “I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt and believe they were looking at the evidence and didn’t feel they could prove their case without a reasonable doubt.”
The brothers charged may have recanted their statement
When it was reported that Smollett had paid two brothers $ 3,500 to carry out the attack, the case made its first big turn. However, while the men confessed the plot and appeared before a grand jury, they were released without charge.
It is possible and probable, according to CNN analysts, that the two men had no plea or had an immunity deal and revoked their statement. Without the two people behind the crime agreeing that it was staged, the case could have fallen apart. The brothers have since regretted their involvement, but have not brought forth many details.
Whether the accused changed tone, the police came in a little too hot and heavy, or there was not enough evidence to prove a staged attack, Jussie Smollett was acquitted of all charges.
For the sake of the actor, let’s hope he is not guilty, because faking a hate crime over salary and / or recognition would be in extremely bad taste.