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Jussie Smollett update; Chicago police release video footage from the night of the allegedly staged attack


ABC/Lorenzo BevilaquaChicago police have released more files, officer body cam footage and other video from the night they say Empire actor Jussie Smollett staged an attack on himself, with the help of two associates.

The Empire actor claimed white supporters of President Trump attacked him in the middle of the night on January 29, threw bleach on him and put a noose around his neck, while shouting homophobic and racist slurs.  However, Chicago police allege Smollett paid two Nigerian associates of his, brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo, to help him stage the attack on himself.  The brothers were also recorded on camera buying red ball caps approximating Make America Great Again hats, and rope that Smollett said his attackers tied around his neck. 

More than 70 hours of video footage has been made public, some of which was shot in Smollett’s own apartment as investigators interviewed him.  Body cam footage from the apartment shows Smollett still wearing the makeshift noose, some time after the alleged attack, with the actor saying he wanted it to remain around his neck until he was able to show it to police.

The released footage also shows the brothers being detained at the airport after the incident and taking a cab to the location the alleged attack reportedly took place. 

Smollett was eventually indicted on 16 counts of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report; all charges were dropped in February but that decision will be reviewed by a special prosecutor, who will review the actions of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, whose office dropped the charges against Smollett.  It’s possible charges could be reinstated against Smollett, depending on the special prosecutor’s findings. 

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