Chicago police are previewing what’s to come in their ongoing Jussie Smollett investigation.
The “Empire” star was recently arrested for felony disorderly conduct in relation to his alleged filing of a false police report. The high-profile, racially charged case has left the public questioning the actions of both the actor and the Chicago Police Department.
Now, in a new interview on “Good Morning America,” Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is claiming that there is, in fact, additional proof that Smollett staged a hate crime back in January — the public simply has not seen it yet.
Speaking with anchor Robin Roberts, Johnson revealed: “There’s still a lot of physical evidence, video evidence and testimony that just simply does not support [Smollett’s] version of what happened.”
Seemingly addressing the public scrutiny surrounding this case and his department, Johnson defended the Chicago P.D. and their investigation.
“It’s important for people to recognize that it’s not the Chicago police saying that he did something. It’s the evidence, the facts, and the witnesses that are saying this.”
When asked about his “passionate” press conference appearance, Johnson explained why he was so “angry” and “offended”: “The symbolism of a noose is very offensive. The city of Chicago has this issue. The Chicago Police Department has this issue with racism and excessive force and all of that. And I’m acutely aware of that. But we didn’t earn this particular incident. And I just refuse to let us have to take that shot if I have evidence to the contrary. I just want people to understand, that’s a damaging thing to do to a city and to a police department, so it’s my responsibility to ensure that the record gets set straight.”
On Thursday night, the attorney for the Osundairo brothers, who allege Smollett paid them to stage the attack, released a statement: