Chicago – African-American actor Jussie Smollett, of the television series “Empire”, turned himself in today to the Chicago Police and was arrested for a crime of disorderly conduct for which he could be imprisoned for up to three years.
It is expected that the actor will be free in the next hours when he pays 10,000 of the 100,000 dollars of bail imposed by the judge.
The Chicago police superintendent, Eddie Johnson, who is also African-American, told a news conference that Smollett was the one who planned an alleged racist attack against himself and for that he paid $ 3,500 to two brothers, which he described as “shameful” .
“Mr. Smollett was the one who orchestrated this crime,” lamented the police chief, noting that he took advantage of the pain and anger caused by racism to promote his career.
Johnson explained that the actor simulated a letter using a racist and homophobic language and when that did not receive attention, he paid to organize the attack.
He added that it was an “advertising maneuver” motivated because he was “dissatisfied with his salary”.
Smollett “dragged the reputation of Chicago through the mud,” he lamented. “When we discovered the real reason, frankly we got very angry.”
Johnson also said he is confident that the true story “receives as much attention as the farce.”
If he is tried and sentenced he would face up to three years in prison for having lied in the hate crime complaint, whose investigation involved more than 20 detectives for three weeks.
The plaintiff is expected to appear at a bail hearing in the early afternoon, in which he will be formally read the accusation, set bail and be released.
The actor had reported that he was the object of an alleged homophobic and racist aggression that took place in late January in which two African brothers were arrested as possible suspects, although they were later released.
Smollett claimed that two masked men shouted racist and homophobic insults, beat him and put a rope around his neck as he walked alone on the street at about 2am.
The actor, who was hospitalized, said the attackers shouted “this is a MAGA zone,” in reference to the campaign slogan of US President Donald Trump, “Make America Great Again (MAGA).”
The brothers were arrested and released, and the investigation took another course so that Smollett passed from victim to accused, when it was found that he paid them to orchestrate the attack in the Streeterville neighborhood.
According to reports, the brothers collaborated with the police investigation and will not be charged for their participation in the episode.
Smollett’s lawyers issued a statement on Thursday stating that, “like any other citizen, the plaintiff enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this” where the information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked “
“Given these circumstances, we intend to carry out a thorough investigation and mount an aggressive defense,” they added. (IL) (EFEUSA) .-