Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson called a press conference this morning to announce the department’s findings in the matter of Empire actor Jussie Smollett. According to the department’s investigation, Smollett orchestrated the alleged attack on himself. And that’s not all. He also sent a threatening letter to himself at the Fox studio lot before the attack. He said Smollett was dissatisfied with his salary.
“I’m left hanging my head and asking why,” Johnson told reporters. “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…how can an individual who has been embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in this city by making this false claim?”
Those are widely applicable questions, but I think we’ve got a pretty good handle on why. The same question should be asked of Smollett’s political and media supporters. They couldn’t wait to jump on his bandwagon.
Johnson’s statement is admirably straightforward. He was not amused. I’ve posted video of the press conference below. No lessons will be learned, but this is worth pausing over.