Jussie Smollett’s trial begins today. This is how we got here

Judge James Lane said during an October hearing that cameras would not be allowed in court. On the same day, the actor’s lawyers made a final push to dismiss the case. The judge denied the request.

With the trial underway more than two years after Smollett announced he had been attacked, here’s a look at how we got here.

Smollett Tell the authorities that he was attacked In the early hours of the morning of January 29, 2019 by two men who were shouting racist and anti-homophobic slurs. He said the two men put a noose around his neck and poured an unknown substance on him, according to Chicago police.
FamousAnd Policy and call groups They rallied behind the actor, with former President Donald Trump calling the alleged attack “horrific.” in his first audience Statement since the reported attack, Smollett thanked his fans for the support and Try to dispel doubts He questions the integrity of his story, saying it was “100% realistic and consistent on every level.”
Many twists and turns in Jussie Smollett's investigation

Police launched an investigation, took Smollett’s jacket and rope and eventually obtained a video clip showing the actor entering Lowes’ store after the alleged attack with what appeared to be a noose around his neck.

The police said that a day after the alleged attack I found the surveillance footage Show “Potential Persons Wanted for Interrogation”.

Two brothers confess to conspiracy

About a month later, then-Chicago Police Chief Eddie Johnson said Smollett He allegedly paid two brothers $3,500 to launch the attack “to take advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career,” saying the brothers admitted to the plot.

“As far as we can tell, the scratching and bruising I saw on his face was most likely caused by himself,” Johnson said in late February 2019.

The brothers were implicated, and then disowned, in the Josie Smollett case suing the actor's legal team for defamation
Smollett was arrested on suspicion of making a false report and released on bail. Prosecutors alleged that Smollett texted a friend, one of the brothers, on January 25 and asked to speak. Prosecutors said he devised and rehearsed the plan, and gave friend Abimbola Osondaero and his brother Olabengo a $100 bill for clothes and a noose and instructed the duo not to bring their phones for the attack. Phone records indicated that Smollett spoke with the brothers about an hour before the alleged attack and an hour later, authorities said, citing Text messages and hours of surveillance video.
The Osondaero brothers told police that Smollett “first tried to get attention By sending a false letter which relied on racist, homophobic, and political language,” Johnson said in February 2019. A week before the alleged attack, a letter containing white powder and a drawing of a “stick hanging from a tree” was sent to the Chicago group.” Prosecutors said Smollett had told Abimbola Osondaero that he He is disappointed with the reaction of the “Empire” team to the letter, and the powder turns out to be aspirin.
After cooperating with the police, he Release two brothers without being charged.
After his arrest, Smollett I apologize to the cast and crew For any embarrassment the allegations may have caused, but he confirmed that he is innocent.

Smollett was charged with 16 felony counts

In March 2019, Smollett . was indicted 16 felony charges lead to disorderNS By a grand jury in Cook County, Illinois. The indictment said that after the alleged attack, Smollett gave statements to both a Chicago police officer and a detective, but the details in those statements were different.
Her office says the attorney general has not formally disassociated herself from the Jussie Smollett case

Smollett’s attorney at the time called the indictment an “exaggeration of the allegation” and a “desperate attempt to make headlines,” adding that the actor maintained his innocence.

On March 14, 2019, Smollett appeared in court and Not guilty.

About a week before the charges were announced, Cook County District Attorney Kim Fox withdrew herself from the case to address potential impartiality concerns “based on knowledge of potential witnesses in this case,” a spokeswoman said from her office.

All charges have been dropped

In a dramatic reversal of the case, Chicago Prosecutors dropped all charges Smollett on March 26, 2019. The Cook County District Attorney’s Office revealed little about why, and said the decision came after reviewing the case and after the representative agreed to forfeit his $10,000 bond. One of Smollett’s lawyers said parts of the case were closed.

“After reviewing all the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollett’s voluntary service in the community and agreeing to waive his pledge to the City of Chicago, we believe this finding is a fair and appropriate resolution of this case,” the state attorney general’s office said in a statement.

All charges were dropped by Jussie Smollett, but the mayor of Chicago still calls his story a hoax

First Assistant District Attorney Joseph Magats, the attorney general, said Smollett had no prior felonies and was not a danger to the community. He added that thousands of other cases had similar results, but this case was highlighted in the media because of Smollett’s fame.

After a brief courtroom appearance, Smollett told reporters he was grateful to everyone who stood by him and that he had been “honest and consistent on every level since day one.”

His attorney, Patricia Brown, said the two brothers were Smollett’s coaches and that he only paid them for “nutrition and training.”

“This entire situation is a reminder that there should never be an attempt to prove a case in the court of public opinion,” two of the actor’s lawyers said in a statement. He added that “dropping the charges against the victim in this case was the only fair outcome.”

The lawyers for the brothers involved in the Jussie Smollett case said they were betrayed

City officials condemned the charges that were dropped, with former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel calling the case a “whitewash of justice” which sent “a clear message that if you are in a position of influence and power, you will be treated one way. Other people will be treated another.”

Johnson, the former superintendent of police, said he stood by investigators’ conclusions that Smollett carried out the attack, saying the way Smollett would have cleared his name was “in a court of law so that everyone could see the evidence.”

That same month, the city of Chicago said it wanted Smollett to cover investigation costs in his alleged attack—more than $130,000—and giving him a week to do so, only to start a legal battle after the actor refused to pay.

Police release investigation reports

After news of charges dropped, Chicago police They released part of their investigative reports In the case, which highlighted investigators’ interactions with the Osondaero brothers – including one in which one of the brothers told investigators he “felt relieved” to tell the truth.

“The Police Department has been notified of a court order preventing such a release,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a tweet on Twitter after the reports were published.

Kim Foxx's Chief Ethics Officer and Special Prosecutor submit their resignations
Meanwhile, the Chicago Police Association He called for a federal investigation To Fox, the state attorney in Cook County, to assess her involvement in the case after news reports emerged of text messages between her and an attorney about “shifting the case from the Chicago Police Department to a federal investigation,” Chicago Fraternal Medal of Police Chief Kevin Graham She said In March 2019.
The following month, Foxx asked the Cook County Inspector General to do so Investigation into dealing with her office In Smollett’s criminal case, saying that “ensuring that my office and I enjoy the confidence of the community is of paramount importance to me.”

The judge approves a special prosecutor

In June 2019, a Cook County Circuit Judge Appointment approved The Special Prosecutor to independently investigate the handling of the Smollett case. The special prosecutor will have the authority to pursue charges for any crime committed during the investigation — including further prosecutions for Smollett.
Federal judge refuses to dismiss Chicago's case against Jussie Smollett
Also in June, Chicago police released body camera footage showing Smollett with a white rope tied in a rope around his neck on the night of the alleged attack. The footage was part of more than 70 hours of video and More than 400 pages of inspection orders And some text messages released by the police to the media.
A judge later ordered Google to hand over a year’s worth of money Smollett’s personal electronic data – Including search history, photos, files, and geolocation data – for the Special Prosecutor.

Smollett’s publicist declined to comment on the search warrant at the time. Google did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment at the time.

Grand jury returns six indictments

Grand jury accused Smollett in February 2020 for providing false reports after Special Prosecutor Dan K. Webb, who is tasked with investigating handling the actor’s case, said his office had “completed all steps of the investigation into Josie Smollett, and made the decision to prosecute Mr. Smollett.”

The indictment accused Smollett of submitting four separate false reports to Chicago police officers, according to a statement from Webb’s office issued at the time.

Several factors went into that determination, Webb said, “including the broad nature of Mr. Smollett’s false police reports, and the resources the Chicago Police Department has expended to investigate these false reports.”

The special prosecutor’s office also said it had enough evidence “to determine that he does not agree” with how Fox’s office handled the case. In a statement, Webb said Foxx was unable to provide “documented evidence” showing “other rulings in similar cases prior to the Smollett case justifying this action.” Fox, who has admitted wrongly her office’s handling of the case and said she could have been more transparent, rejected Webb’s decision to indict Smollett. Weeks before the 2020 primary Politician. In November 2020, she won re-election second period.

Smollett’s attorney, Tina Glandian, said in a statement after the six-count indictment that the previous charges had been appropriately dismissed “because they were not supported by evidence” and said the new attempt to prosecute the actor “is clearly about politics, not justice.”

After nearly two weeks, Glandian entered acknowledgment of innocence On behalf of her client.

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