During a presser held following Hollywood actor Jussie Smollett’s arrest Thursday morning, Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson excoriated both him for perpetrating a “shameful,” “despicable” hate crime hoax and the media for helping him perpetrate it.
“As I look out into the crowd, I just wish that the families of gun violence in this city got this much attention because that’s who really deserves the amount of attention we’re giving to this particular incident,” he said, referencing the lack of mainstream media coverage vis-à-vis Chicago’s endless violence.
Roughly a week after the Smollett incident, the 1-year-old child seen below was shot in the head in Chicago and subsequently placed on life support. This story received zero mainstream media attention.
This 1-year-old was shot in the head about a week after the Smollet hoax. There have been no comments about him from…
“But this morning, I come to you not only is the superintendent of the Chicago police department, but also as a black man who spent his entire life living in the city of Chicago. I know the racial divide that exists here. I know how hard it has been for our city and our nation to come together. I also know the disparities, and I know the history,” the superintendent added.
Disparities and history that Smollett attempted to exploit to promote his career.
“This announcement today recognizes that ‘Empire’ actor, Jussie Smollett, took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career. I am left hanging my head and asking why? Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose, to make false accusations? How could someone look at the hatred and suffering associated with that symbol, and see an opportunity to manipulate that symbol to further his own public profile?” he said.
“How can an individual who has been embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in this city in the face by making these false bogus police reports cause real harm?”
Listen to part one of Johnson’s poignant statement below:
“I love the city of Chicago. And the Chicago Police Department,” he continued. “But this publicity stunt was a scar that Chicago did and earn and certainly didn’t deserve.”
“To make things worse, the accusations within this phony attack received national attention for weeks. Celebrities, news commentators, even presidential candidates weighed in on something that was choreographed by an actor.”
After Smollett claimed in late January that two white Trump supporters had assaulted him, poured bleach on him and placed a noose around his neck, all while allegedly yelling racial and homophobic slurs, members of the far-left portrayed the attack as a “modern-day lynching” and attributed it to President Donald Trump’s allegedly racist, divisive rhetoric.
What happened today to @JussieSmollett must never be tolerated in this country. We must stand up and demand that we no longer give this hate safe harbor; that homophobia and racism have no place on our streets or in our hearts. We are with you, Jussie. https://t.co/o8ilPu68CM
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 30, 2019
The vicious attack on actor Jussie Smollett was an attempted modern-day lynching. I’m glad he’s safe.
To those in Congress who don’t feel the urgency to pass our Anti-Lynching bill designating lynching as a federal hate crime– I urge you to pay attention. https://t.co/EwXFxl5f2m
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) January 29, 2019
This is a sickening and outrageous attack, and horribly, it’s the latest of too many hate crimes against LGBTQ people and people of color. We are all responsible for condemning this behavior and every person who enables or normalizes it. Praying for Jussie and his family. https://t.co/eylvxhLT0u
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) January 29, 2019
.@JussieSmollett is one of the kindest, most gentle human beings I know. I’m praying for his quick recovery.
This was an attempted modern day lynching. No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 29, 2019
The racist and homophobic attack on Jussie Smollett is a horrific instance of the surging hostility toward minorities around the country. We must come together to eradicate all forms of bigotry and violence. https://t.co/2accVEJrCG
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 29, 2019
Johnson then detailed Smollet’s crimes.
“First, Smollett attempted to gain attention by sending a false letter that relied on racial, homophobic and political language,” he said. “When that didn’t work, Smollett paid $3,500 to stage this attack and drag Chicago’s reputation through the mud in the process.”
He added that what makes this hate crime hoax that much more appalling is the reason why it’s believed the actor chose to pull this stunt in the first place:
“And why? This stunt was orchestrated by Smollett because he was dissatisfied with his salary, so he concocted a story about being attacked. When we discovered the actual motive, quite frankly, it pissed everybody off because we have to invest valuable resources.”
In addition to the self-serving reasons Smollett allegedly faked a hate crime, it’s being widely reported that the actor had paid the two “attackers” with a check.
So police say Jussie Smollet paid the brothers with a check.
— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) February 21, 2019
While answering questions from the media later, the Superintendent said that for “absolute justice” to be achieved, Smollett has to stop lying and start fessing up. An apology would help too.
“Absolute justice would be an apology to this city that he smeared, admitting what he did, and then be man enough to offer what he should offer up in terms of all the resources that were put into this.”
According to the president, he may also want to consider apologizing to the “the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments”:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2019
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