Chicago Police revealed Thursday morning that "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett staged a hate crime attack against himself because he was "dissatisfied" with his salary. The actor was adamant that it was two MAGA-hat wearing President Trump supporters who attacked him, while hurling homophobic and racial slurs at him. Smollett was taken into custody this morning once authorities gathered enough evidence to charge him with filing a false report.
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson spoke for his department at Thursday's press conference when he said he was "offended by what's happened" in his city. Smollett, he said, was treated as a victim until they saw the evidence to discover the actor gave two Nigerian men a $3,500 check to stage an attack on him. Johnson said the department gave Smollett the “benefit of the doubt” until the 47th hour of the 48 hours they could hold the two suspects, at which point they confessed their role in the hoax.
Chicago PD Detective Commander Edward Wodnicki offered a timeline of events.
Smollett has helped to "drag Chicago's reputation," Johnson said. Furthermore, the police superintendent worries that hate crimes will "now be met with a level of skepticism."
“I only wish the truth about what happened received the same amount of attention that the hoax did,” Johnson regretted.
Smollett's orchestrated attack was "shameful," he said, because it "takes away the resources we could put into other crimes."
"It pissed everybody off," Johnson said candidly.
"Absolute justice would be an apology to the city he smeared," Johnson said, adding that he hopes Smollett will be "man enough" to offer up the resources he cost Chicago.