Chicago police on Wednesday released two 911 calls from the night in January when Jussie Smollett claimed he was attacked. The “Empire” actor had reported to police that he was attacked by two men who doused him with an unknown chemical and put a noose around his neck, but police later said Smollett made it up.
“I need the police to come by, I work with an artist, I don’t really want to say his name,” the unidentified male caller told a 911 dispatcher, CBS Chicago reports. “He states he went to Subway … and two guys, somebody jumped him or something like that. I just want to report it and make sure he’s alright.”
“I just think he’s startled … They put a noose around his neck,” the caller told the dispatcher. “They didn’t do anything with it, but it’s around his neck. That’s really f**ked up.”
The caller’s name was redacted from the recording.
In a second recording, a caller is heard speaking to an emergency dispatcher.
“I am waiting on the police,” he says. “The person I work for, he was jumped on the street, and I just want to report it. I thought they [the police] would be here by now.”
During that second call, there appears to be confusion about the caller’s location.
Smollett, who is openly gay, reported to police on Jan. 29 that two men approached him around 2 a.m. and yelled “racial and homophobic slurs,” poured an “unknown chemical substance” on him and wrapped a noose around his neck. Police told CBS News that Smollett told them the attackers said “This is a MAGA country!”
On Feb. 4, Chicago police released its initial incident report, which said an unnamed friend of Smollett’s had reported the incident. The report said Smollett “did not want to report offense” but “believed it to be in the best interest to.” The report also noted that Smollett still had a rope around his neck when police arrived to interview him. In the report, Smollett said the attackers were wearing black and the “primary aggressor.” He said they were wearing a black mask, but he recalled no other “distinguishing features.”
After police said they were questioning two brothers who were “persons of interest,” police then said the brothers’ testimony had “shifted the trajectory of the investigation.” Smollett was then charged with 16 felony counts of falsely reporting a hate crime, although Smollett insisted he had not made up the attack. The charges were later dropped, but then-Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel insisted it was a miscarriage of justice.
–First published by CBS News on June 5, 2019
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