Tyler O'Neil, PJ Media, February 12, 2019
Chicago police say they will be requesting more phone records from “Empire” star Jussie Smollett regarding the racist and homophobic attack he allegedly faced two weeks ago. Smollett has turned over heavily redacted phone records, but evidence has begun to emerge suggesting his story was fabricated. Rumors are swirling that police are even considering charging him with filing a false report.
Weigel had previously reported that the police superintendent plans to hold Smollett accountable if the investigation reveals he made a false report. “[Chicago Police Superintendent] Eddie Johnson says [Jussie Smollett] is still being treated as the victim in this case but if the investigation does reveal he made a false report he will be held accountable,” he tweeted. That threat seems more likely.
Late Monday evening, ABC7 Chicago reported that an empty hot sauce bottle that smelled like bleach was found near the location of the alleged attack. Smollett had told police that the attackers — who wore “Make America Great Again” hats and screamed “This is MAGA country!” — had poured an unknown bleach-smelling liquid on him and put a noose around his neck after they yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him at 2 a.m. on January 29.
As for the phone records, Guglielmi said, “We are very appreciative of the victim’s cooperation, however, the records provided do not meet the burden for a criminal investigation as they were limited and heavily redacted. Detectives may be following up with him to request additional data to corroborate the investigative timeline.”
Chicago police have not been able to identify any legitimate suspects in the case, nor have they been able to find any surveillance footage of the attack. There is speculation that the hot sauce bottle may have been placed after the fact to prop up the hoax if Smollett indeed made a false report.
Many Americans are waking up to the possibility that Jussie Smollett’s story may be a hoax. Jeff Giesea, an entrepreneur who has written for NATO and the Harvard Business Review, tweeted, “The weight of evidence supports what we’ve suspected all along: This is a hate hoax. [Jussie Smollett] should be arrested for filing a false police report & sued. In this era of disinfo, these hoaxes and their media enablers must be held accountable.”
Conservative blogger Matt Walsh laid out the basic incongruity of Smollett’s story: “he claims he was attacked by white Trump-loving racists in one of the most liberal parts of one of the most liberal cities in America. No similar attacks have been reported by anyone in the town.”
Quillette’s Andy Ngo noted that the very person who said he could hear the attackers over the phone himself refused to let police examine the phone.