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The Chicago Police Department has released body cam footage from the morning after Jussie Smollett’s alleged attack, showing the actor still wearing a noose around his neck which he claimed was used in the assault.
The footage was filmed in the ex-Empire actor’s Chicago home back in January at 8:45am local time, some seven hours after he was allegedly subjected to a racist and homophoic attack in a nearby street.
The bodycam captured the officers entering the home and speaking to Frank Gatson, who introduces himself as the actor’s “creative director,” while Smollett can be seen wearing a thin white rope around his neck.
“Do you want to take it off or anything?,” the police officer asks, referring to the noose. Smollet replies: “Yeah I do, I just wanted you to see it.” The officers are asked to switch off their cameras shortly after.
The video is part of hundreds of files released by the Chicago PD after a judge ordered a special prosecutor to examine the handling of Smollett’s accusation. The actor could face a fresh criminal prosecution for his role in the saga, depending upon the outcome of the investigation.
Smollett claimed he was randomly attacked, punched, and doused in bleach by two masked men who he claimed made reference to President Donald Trump’s slogan ‘Make America Great Again.’
The incident sparked widespread outcry amongst the LGBTQ community, African-Americans, and some Democrats as well as the Hollywood elite. However, two weeks later the tables turned when two brothers, Abel and Ola Osundairo, arrested for carrying out the attack, said the entire thing was orchestrated and paid for by Smollett.
Three weeks after the ‘attack’ Smollett himself was arrested and charged with filing a false police report. At the time Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Smollett “took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.”
A month later the episode took yet another unexpected turn when all charges against the then-fired actor were unceremoniouslydropped in lieu of forfeiting his $10,000 bond and carrying out community service.
Smollett continued to maintain his innocence, but the drama didn’t end there. In March, Chicago Police ordered him to pay $130,000 to cover the cost of investigating the case. When Smollett refused, the amount was tripled in a lawsuit filed by the city in April. Smollett’s legal team is also facing litigation, this time from the Osundairo brothers, who claim their reputation was damaged in the melee.