The Chicago Police Department appears to be doing damage control after the FBI reportedly said the notoriously corrupt department “overstated” their Jussie Smollett case. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson flew all the way to “Good Morning America” to talk with Robin Roberts.
See Also: Complete Timeline Of Jussie Smollett Investigation
Johnson began with, ““Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked. Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense.”
However, he then continued to talk about Jussie as if he was already guilty. He said, “It’s not the Chicago police saying [the attack was staged], it’s the evidence, the facts and the witnesses that are saying it.”
When Roberts asked about the $3500 check that Smollett is accused of using to pay the Nigerian brothers, Abel and Ola Osundairo, to stage the attack, Johnson answered, “They said that he paid them $3,500 with a check … to carry out this incident.” But there are several reports that the check was for fitness training. Roberts never asked a follow-up question nor did she ask about the FBI saying they “went too far” in their press conference.
On this issue of the Chicago police not being trusted by many, especially in the Black community, Johnson replied, “But we didn’t earn this particular incident and I refuse to let us take that shot if we have evidence of the contrary … [Filing a false report] is a dangerous thing to do to a city and to a police department. Something like this can be really damaging. We made a lot of progress in the last three years in terms of race relations … I just hope people don’t judge other people that are victims of these types of crimes.”
Watch the interview below:
In case you missed it, TMZ reported the FBI said the Chicago Police were “overstating” their case. One federal law enforcement source told TMZ, “I think he [Johnson] went too far. We’re not there yet.”
TMZ also reports, “We’re told authorities are trying to determine if the pages have the lettering found in the letter. They’re also checking the postage stamp against the stamps found in the brothers’ apartment.” The Nigerian brothers, Abel and Ola Osundairo, denied sending the letter. Here is a copy of the Jan. 22 that was sent to Fox Studios:
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson maintains Jussie paid the brothers $3,500 to stage the attack. TMZ reports they “obtained documents that on the surface back his claim the $3,500 check he wrote to Abel was for training. The check was written to Abel on January 23, 2019, six days before the ‘attack.’ The memo line reads, ‘5 week Nutrition/Workout program Don’t Go.'” “Don’t Go” is a song for a music video where he would appear shirtless.
TMZ also reports, “There are various texts starting from January 20 between Jussie and Bon. On January 28 — the day before the ‘attack’ — Bon [Abel Osundairo] wrote, ‘I know you’re traveling today, make sure you get at least 45 mins of cardio.’ Another text on January 20 outlines a menu for the day, including chicken thigh, StarKist Tuna, Eggs and Smucker’s peanut butter. And, a text on January 25 reads, ‘This is the meal plan and the breakdown of macronutrients. Also includes projected fat loss.'” The $3,500 breakdown was reportedly “$600 a week for the workout plan for 5 weeks, and $100 a week for the nutrition plan for 5 weeks,” according to TMZ reports.
On Jan. 29, while walking to a subway, Smollett claimed two men yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him, investigators told The Hollywood Reporter. They allegedly punched and poured bleach on him while one of the suspects put a rope around his neck. As they fled the scene, Smollett told police they said, “This is MAGA country.”
Smollett has maintained his innocence and was released on $100,000 bond. He has not been talking to the press since his “Good Morning America” interview.
The Chicago Police Department has dropped the ball from the beginning with their handling of the case in the media. First, a police spokesperson said there was no footage of the assailants. Then, hours later, there were two “persons of interest” on video. They also claimed the “Empire” actor “refused” to give the cops his phone, but he did give his phone records. Now the FBI is challenging them the Chicago Police.
They all need to stop talking until their case is laid out.
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