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Vice President Kamala Harris once called the actor Juicy Smollett Allegations of an “attempted lynching in the modern era” attack in January 2019 when it was first reported.
Smollett is due to stand trial for the attack.
Ultimately, Harris, who was a California senator, reversed course weeks after her initial tweet saying she was “sad, frustrated and disappointed” after investigators said Smollett may have faked the attack.
Smollett originally told police on January 29, 2019, that two masked men attacked him at 2 a.m. in Chicago, hurled racist and homophobic insults at him, threw chemicals at him, wrapped a noose around his neck, and told him he was in “MAGA country.” “
When Chicago police began investigating the attack, Smollett’s story fell apart. Weeks later, police alleged that Smollett had paid two friends to help organize the attack because he was unhappy with his salary on the TV show Empire. Chicago Police Chief Eddie T. Johnson She said In late February 2019, Smollett said he “used the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.”
This was when Harris retracted her sympathetic comments about Smollett, saying that when someone wrongly reports a hate crime, it distracts from the truth.
“When anyone makes false allegations to the police, it not only diverts resources away from serious investigations, but makes it more difficult for other crime victims to move forward,” Harris said on February 21, 2019. Telling the truth: Hate crimes are on the rise in America.
On March 7, 2019, the Cook County District Attorney’s Office filed a 16-count criminal indictment against Smollett for committing a hate crime and making multiple false statements to the police. But just three weeks later, the CCSAO dropped this fee for 15 hours of community service and agreed that Smollett would forfeit his $10,000 bond for the city of Chicago.
Months after prosecutors dropped the charges with little explanation, the judge appointed a special prosecutor, former US attorney Dan Webb, to look into the original investigation.
Webb finally decided That Smollett “planned and participated in an organized hate crime attack, subsequently made numerous false statements to Chicago police officers on multiple occasions, and reported a heinous hate crime that he actually knew did not happen.”
Following the Webb investigation, in February 2020 a Cook County grand jury returned a new six-count indictment accusing Smollett of submitting multiple false reports to Chicago police.
Smollett Not guilty He and his defense team filed a motion to dismiss the latest charges of double guilt, but the judge dropped that in June 2020. Smollett still claims he did nothing wrong, TMZ . says He is innocent.
He was charged with a felony disorderly conduct. A fourth-degree felony carries a prison sentence of up to three years, but experts said it is likely that if Smollett is found guilty, he will be placed on probation and possibly required to perform community service.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.