New police video shows Jussie Smollett with rope around neck
Chicago police have released hundreds of files from the investigation into Jussie Smollett’s claim that he was assaulted by two men. The footage includes video that shows the actor with his face blurred and wearing a white rope he told detectives his attackers looped around his neck.
“I just wanted y’all to see,” Smollett is heard saying he touches the rope in the police body camera footage taken as officers respond to his home after the Jan. 29 report. He then begins to unwind the rope and says, “There’s bleach on me.”
He’s later heard saying he doesn’t want to be filmed and the body camera is shut off.
The “Empire” actor told investigators his alleged attackers doused the bleach on him and yelled racist and homophobic slurs.
Many files contain surveillance camera footage that police collected as they launched what was initially a hate crime investigation, as well as footage from what appears to be the route police have said the two brothers took to and from the scene. One short clip shows the brothers, Abel and Ola Osundairo, running after allegedly staging the attack against Smollett on a Chicago street.
The release is the latest chapter in a story that began with Smollett’s allegations that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack. He was eventually arrested on charges that he lied to police and prosecutors later dismissed the charges. In the most recent development, a judge allowed the appointment of a special prosecutor to weigh the decision to drop the charges, opening the possibility that Smollett could be charged anew.
Police have released a series of materials in the case, including 911 calls, after a judge ruled the case file unsealed.