Less than a week after a state judge ordered the files in the Jussie Smollett criminal case unsealed, the Chicago Police today made public hundreds and hundreds of heavily redacted pages of investigation reports, gumshoe work and arrest documents, with promise of much more to come in the coming days.
Contained in the selective disbursement is the now ex-Empire actor’s actual arrest report, which bluntly proclaims of the alleged January 29 attack that “through investigation it was determined that the incident, as related by SMOLLETT, did not occur.” With the actor who played the openly gay Jamel Lyon on the hip hop drama soon to be placed in a segregated area, he mugshot attached document adds, “At 0510 hours on 21-Feb-2019, SMOLLETT was read his MIRANDA warnings with attorney (REDACTED) present and declined to answer questions.”
There was no comment from Smollett’s camp on the not unexpected dump by the cops, however, the spokesman for the Windy City department strongly hinted at the situation online soon after the afternoon release local time.
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) May 30, 2019
Although Smollett got out of the 16-count indictment in late March for allegedly faking a January 29 racial and homophobic attack, the backlash over the dropping of the criminal case by the office of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx has continued in the Midwest metropolis.
In fact, despite outrage by police and now ex-Mayor Rahm Emanuel in late March, among the flood of paperwork today, it is revealed that the Cook County State Attorney’s office told detectives in February that the whole matter could be resolved with the actor paying “Chicago $10K in restitution and doing community service.”
It is worth noting with today’s release and more to come from the police and the prosectors that there is nothing from the defense in this material. Being that the felony case was, as previously indicated, tossed with a $10,000 bond and some credit for community service by Smollett, his lawyers actually never put on a defense or cross-examined the documents in the case or the people who penned them.
The Chicago police said Thursday that among the other files they will be opening up in the “next week,” will be “pertinent video files.” No word if that additional material will be as redacted as today’s dump was or contain the actual evidence that they promised weeks ago.
In that context, among the information contained in Thursday’s document release by the CPD are reports on the spotlight of brothers Ola and Abel Osundairo, who authorities first saw as persons of interest. The cops then shifted focus and said the siblings said were paid by Smollett to plan and coordinate the alleged fake assault late on that cold day earlier this year.
The documents make it clear that the personal trainers and Empire extras confessed to participating with Smollett mere hours before the actor went on Good Morning America on February 14 to try to pin the alleged assault on politics and his constant critique of Donald Trump. Yet, and with statements that Smollett himself initially refused to even glance at photos of his potential attackers on the advice of his attorneys, the path to getting that statement from the brothers Osundairo is meticulously laid out in the over 500 page that hit the sidewalk so to speak today.
“Over the next several days, searches were conducted and photographs captured of Olabinjo OSUNDAIRO and Abimbola OSUNDAIRO from Chicago Police Databases, the Illinois Secretary of State database, open source social media accounts and open source internet searches (progress reports and inventories for this information will be forthcoming),” one report notes of the progress and evolving investigation (read it here). “A comparison was made between these images, the still photographs from OHARE Airport and the video recovered from the Sun Taxi Cab #904 (Refer to the PROGRESS report of Det. Paragas for details of the Sun taxi Cab Video recovery),” it adds.
“This comparison showed a strong resemblance between Olabinjo OSUNDAIRO and Abimbola OSUNDAIRO and the subjects on the video recovered from Sun Taxi Cab #904. RID was aware of the fact that received a threatening letter which was documented under CPD RD#JC125614 and to a received a phone threat on Saturday, [January 26, 2019] at an unknown time, where an unnamed male caller stated, “Hey you little Faggot” which was documented in JC133190.
“After reviewing evidence available at the time, a plan was put into place to take Olabinjo OSUNDAIRO and Abimbola OSUNDAIRO into custody at OHARE Airport,” the file states of the brothers’ return from a trip to Nigeria.
That plan was executed and the Chicago PD picked up the siblings and took them into custody for interrogation, which was detailed in another report before the duo seemingly turned on Smollett and gave up the goods.
“At approximately 2200 hours, Olabinjo OSUNDAIRO was returned to the 002nd District male lock up. Several times during the course of the evening, Olabinjo OSUNDAIRO was offered food, water and use of the restroom, but refused,” this report states. “At approximately 2245 hours, Abimbola OSUNDAIRO was returned to the 002nd District male lock up. Several times during the course of the evening, Abimbola OSUNDAIRO was offered food, water and use of the restroom, but refused. RID inventoried search warrant 19SW5093 under CPD inventory #14391526.”
“The investigation continues.”
As the city itself sued Smollett for potential more than $300,000 for the probe into what was first characterized as a “hate crime,” Foxx herself declared in a March 29 Chicago Tribune op-ed that she wanted the Class 4 felony case unsealed in “the interest of full transparency.” Repeating what the prosecutor from her office on the matter said in late March, Foxx stated that just because Smollett’s case was dropped for expediency’s sake after some credit for community service and forfeiting a $10,000 bond, “he has not been exonerated; he has not been found innocent.”
Following legal move by various media outlets, Judge Steven Watkins on May 23 decided to pull off the privacy protection the actor and his lawyers had demanded. Aiming for a bull’s eye with his order, the Illinois judge said on May 23 that Smollett and his attorneys appearances in the media “are not the actions of a person seeking to maintain his privacy or simply be let alone.”
Empire was recently renewed by Fox for a sixth and final season, but there are “no plans” to bring Smollett back to the Lee Daniels and Danny Strong created series.