Chicago Police Release Footage From Night of Jussie Smollett's Alleged Attack
Police body-cam footage shows authorities entering the actor's Chicago apartment, where he was found with a rope strung around his neck.
The Chicago Police Department on Monday released surveillance footage from shortly after the alleged racist and homophobic attack on Empire star Jussie Smollett took place.
In one of the released videos, police body-cam footage shows authorities entering the actor's Chicago apartment, where he was found with a rope strung around his neck that he alleged was part of the attack. He informs the officers that he kept the rope on his neck because he "just wanted you all to see it."
Once Smollett discovers that the officers are recording via body cam, he requests the cameras be turned off. "I don't want to be filmed," he tells the officers.
In the video, Smollett's manager can be overheard telling the officers that he was bothered and emotional over the fact that the attackers would place a rope around his client's neck. He also emphasized that the actor didn't want everything to be a "big deal."
In another video, Smollett's alleged attackers, brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo, are shown being arrested immediately after returning from Nigeria.
The released footage arrives after a judge on Friday decided to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the decision by Cook County prosecutors to dismiss all charges against Smollett, who was accused of lying to the police by claiming he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in downtown Chicago in January.
The City of Chicago is also pursuing Smollett in civil court to recoup $130,000 in overtime costs stemming from the investigation.
According to the Associated Press, police also released nearly 1,200 different individual files on Monday, including thousands of pages of documents, arrest reports and handwritten notes from the police. In total, there are more than 90 hours of video footage, much of it hour upon hour of surveillance cameras high above city streets.
Despite all 16 felony charges against Smollett being dropped and his record being wiped clean, his fate on Empire had remained unclear. Fox Entertainment announced in April that the actor would not appear in season six of Empire, which will be its last season. In March, Empire creator Lee Daniels posted a short video in which he described the Smollett ordeal as a "roller coaster," with no one comprehending how best to handle the situation. "These past couple of weeks have been a freakin' roller coaster. Me and my cast have experienced pain and anger and sadness and frustration and really don’t know how to deal with it, you know?" he said.
Daniels tweeted earlier this month that Smollett would not be reprising his role. His tweet, posted in response to a report that said Empire's writers were preparing for his return on the show's sixth and final season, read, "This is not factual. Jussie will NOT be returning to Empire."
Watch the footage below via ABC 7 News Chicago.