UPDATE: 22:04 PM GMT: Jussie was released from custody on bail set by a judge at $100,000. He must also surrender his passport. He’s also subject to pre-trial monitoring.
Jussie Smollett has been formally arrested and remains in custody after handing himself into cops.
He remains in custody pending a bond hearing — The Superintendent of Chicago Police Department has explained during a news conference at 7 am PT that “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.
This announcement today recognises that Empire actor, Jussie Smollett, took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career. I’m left hanging my head 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? How can an individual that has been embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in this city in the face by making these false claims?
Bogus police reports cause real harm. They do harm to every legitimate victim who is in need of support by police and investigators, as well as the citizens of this city.
Chicago holds one of the largest Pride parades in the world, and we’re proud of that as a Police Department and also as a city. We do not, nor will we ever, tolerate hate in our city whether that hate is based on an individual’s sexual orientation, race or anything else. I’m offended by what’s happened and I’m also angry.
I love the city of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department. This publicity stunt was a scare Chicago didn’t earn and certainly didn’t deserve. To make things worse, the accusations within this phoney attack received national attention for weeks. Celebrities, news commentators and even presidential candidates weighed in on something that was choreographed by an actor.
First, Smollett attempted to gain attention by sending a false letter that relied on racial, homophobic and political language. When that didn’t work, Smollett paid $3,500 to stage this attack and drag Chicago’s reputation through the mud in the process. This stunt was orchestrated by Smollett because he was dissatisfied with his salary. He concocted a story about being attacked. Our city has problems, we know that. We have problems that have affected people from all walks of life, and we know that.
To put the national spotlight on Chicago for something that is both egregious and untrue is simply shameful.”
The two brothers involved in the staged attack are now considered “victims” as well as “witnesses” to this incident.
We are going to keep you updated on any developments.