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Actor Jussie Smollett is looking to use the protests over George Floyd’s death to his advantage in an ongoing lawsuit with the city of Chicago.
The former “Empire” star, who has been battling a $130,000 lawsuit by the city against him, filed legal documents on Friday attempting to make a connection between the nationwide protests against police behavior and his own falsely-reported hate crime.
The city of Chicago has been attempting to recoup losses from the cost of the investigation triggered by what officials alleged was a hoax attack Smollett staged on himself last year. Though initial charges against him were dropped, a grand jury indicted him for a second time in February of this year on charges of lying to the police.
Now the 37-year-old is seeking to capitalize on the attention to police in protests brought about by Floyd who died in Minneapolis after an officer, who was seen in a video, pressed his knee on his neck during an arrest. Smollett claims the city of Chicago is covering up for police by refusing to turn over files related to the termination of former Police Chief Eddie Johnson.
“As we see millions across the country rise up to protest and expose police misconduct, the city, by its refusal to produce the requested documents, is choosing to actively resist a citizen’s lawful efforts to reveal dishonesty, directly relating to the charges against him, throughout the department, including the police superintendent who oversaw and publicly commented on the investigation of Mr. Smollett’s report of a vicious hate crime and assault,” Smollett’s attorneys wrote in court documents filed on June 6th, according to Fox News.
“Indeed, the city’s opposition to the motion to compel puts the cart before the horse and largely fails to appreciate that this case remains in the discovery phase,” the filing continued. “Allegations are not proven facts, but the city improperly assumes that it has already proven that Mr. Smollett made false statements to the CPD.”
Johnson’s credibility is being questioned by Smollett, citing the former police chief’ series of “ethical lapses,” as Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot characterized it in December 2019 when Johnson was terminated.
“Documents from Johnson’s termination may lead to evidence of Johnson’s lack of truthfulness during the early 2019 investigation of Mr. Smollett’s report of being assaulted and subsequent decision by the City to pursue a civil claim against Mr. Smollett knowing Mr. Smollett’s innocence,” the attorneys wrote in the filing.
They also accused the city of “disparaging Mr. Smollett by characterizing his discovery requests as attempting to ‘muddy the waters,’” adding that “it is ironic that, among other things, the city interjected and attached a letter from Mr. Smollett’s counsel in the prior criminal matter, which has no bearing on the instant motion.”
Smollett also claimed that the city of Chicago “conspicuously omits the role of individuals at CPD that concluded that Mr. Smollett allegedly made false statements to the CPD.”
He didn’t appear to be getting much sympathy on social media, however, as Twitter users called him out for resurfacing amid the current Floyd protests.
It’s all about you Jussie, isn’t it?
— TheLifeOfJakeYT (@TheLifeOfJakeYT) June 8, 2020
This guy is not right! Like the 🌍 doesn’t evolve because of you sir. How much more shallow and “whoa is me” can u get people?? To much pride/being proud
— 💎 Amber 💎 (@Pinkae2008) June 8, 2020
— 𝕾𝖙𝖊𝖊𝖓💋 (@garggirl) June 8, 2020
— 𝕾𝖙𝖊𝖊𝖓💋 (@garggirl) June 8, 2020
He’s definitely not helping the cause. He needs to sit himself down!
— justagirlinthisworld (@MrsGingerific) June 8, 2020
He’s mad murals weren’t painted of him. He didn’t exploit his clownery to the max… as he wanted.
He wants to be part of the bandwagon because he needs to get paid and speak about it on CNN… And have so-called white people kneel to him.
— Castruccio ó ɴéɪʟʟ dᴇ ᴛʏʀᴏɴᴇ 💀🔥🐝☀ (@Njalldelaroca) June 8, 2020
Jussie Smollett game is over, You’re the one that lied!!!! I’m black and don’t believe you & You’re banned from the BBQ 😕
— HΞCTOR DΞ LA FUΞNTΞS ☬ (@hecxtreme) June 8, 2020
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