On Monday, the Chicago Police Department released nearly 70 hours of video surrounding the alleged racist attack against “Empire” star Jussie Smollett.
In the Jan. 29 body camera footage, two officers enter the actor’s apartment, outside of which is where he said the attack happened.
After being led into the residence by Smollett’s manager Frank Gatson, Smollett, whose face is blurred because he was considered a victim, is found with a noose around his neck.
Asked by an officer if he wants to remove it, he says, “I do, I just wanted y’all to see it.”
“There’s bleach on me, they poured bleach on me,” adds Smollett.
Shortly after, Gatson points out the star is being filmed and asks that the body camera is turned off. After an officer confirms they have permission to cut the recording, they do.
The footage comes after what Smollett claimed was a racist and homophobic attack that came in the early morning hours outside of his apartment nearly six months ago. He claimed two masked men wearing “Make America Great Again” apparel yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him while dousing him with bleach and tying a noose around his neck.
“This is MAGA country,” the attackers, whom Smollett said were white, allegedly shouted.
But the moment with police at the actor’s apartment is just one caught on camera. Fox News reports that footage was collected as a probe initially deemed a hate-crime investigation was begun. Other footage included was that of the apparent route authorities said brothers Abimbola “Abel” Osundairo and Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo took to and from the scene of the alleged attack.
As an investigation began, questions arose about Smollett’s story. A video surfaced of the Osundario brothers, one of which was Smollett’s personal trainer and the other was an extra on “Empire,” buying materials for the attack. The brothers were later arrested at Chicago O’Hare International Airport after returning from Nigeria. They told detectives Smollett paid them $3,5000 to stage the attack. NBC News reported CPD released a text message from Smollett to one of the brothers saying he “might need your help on the low. You around to meet up and talk face to face?”
In March, Smollett faced 16 felony counts relating to making a false police report. All the while, the actor maintained his innocence. Toward the end of the month, however, the charges had been dropped.
However, a special prosecutor has now been assigned to the case after Chicago State’s Attorney Kim Foxx dropped the charges against Smollett in March. Additionally, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Michael Toomin ruled that Foxx’s handling of the case should be looked over. Plus, Toomin wrote that Smollett’s case needs to be reviewed again to see what, if anything he will get charged for.