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Vice President Kamala Harris once called actor Jussie Smollett’s claims of being attacked an “attempted modern-day lynching” in January 2019 when reviews of it first surfaced.
Smollett is ready to face trial on fees that he staged the attack in opposition to him.
Harris, then a California senator, finally reversed course weeks after her preliminary tweet, saying she was “sad, frustrated, and disappointed” after investigators mentioned Smollett could have faked the attack.
Smollett initially instructed police on Jan. 29, 2019, that two masked males attacked him at 2 a.m. in Chicago, made racist and homophobic insults, threw chemical substances on him, looped a noose round his neck, and instructed him he was in “MAGA country.”
As Chicago police began to research the attack, Smollett’s story fell aside. Police alleged weeks later that Smollett paid two pals to assist stage the attack as a result of he was sad together with his wage on the TV present “Empire.” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson mentioned in late February 2019 that Smollett “took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.”
This is when Harris took again her sympathetic feedback about Smollett, saying that when somebody falsely reviews a hate crime, it distracts from the reality.
“When anyone makes false claims to police, it not only diverts resources away from serious investigations but it makes it more difficult for other victims of crime to come forward,” Harris mentioned on February 21, 2019. “At the same time, we must speak the truth: hate crimes are on the rise in America.”
On Mar. 7, 2019, the Cook County State Attorney’s Office filed a 16-count felony indictment in opposition to Smollett on fees that he staged the hate crime attack and made quite a few false statements to police. But then simply three weeks later, the CCSAO dropped these fees in change for 15 hours of group service and the settlement that Smollett would forfeit his $10,000 bond to the City of Chicago.
Months after the prosecutors dropped the fees with little clarification, a choose appointed a particular prosecutor, former U.S. lawyer Dan Webb, to look into the unique investigation.
Webb finally decided that Smollett “planned and participated in a staged hate crime attack, and thereafter made numerous false statements to Chicago Police Department officers on multiple occasions, reporting a heinous hate crime that he, in fact, knew had not occurred.”
After Webb’s investigation, a Cook County grand jury in February 2020 returned a brand new six-count indictment charging Smollett with making a number of false reviews to Chicago police.
Smollett pleaded not responsible and his protection workforce filed a movement to dismiss the newest fees over double-jeopardy, however a choose shot that down in June 2020. Smollett nonetheless claimed he did nothing improper, telling TMZ he is harmless.
He was charged with felony disorderly conduct. The class 4 felony carries a sentence of as much as three years in jail however consultants have mentioned it is extra doubtless that if Smollett is convicted, he could be positioned on probation and maybe ordered to carry out group service.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.