Empire actor Jussie Smollett handed over “limited and redacted phone records” according to the Chicago Police Department in a statement on Monday.
As reported by TheWrap, the Chicago Police Department noted, “These records will be analyzed by detectives and we will be in contact with the victim should additional information be needed.”
Chicago police spokesman Howard Ludwig commented on the redacted phone records, “Usually when we ask people to hand over their records, they just hand over their phone.”
Following this initial statement, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi indicated that the records don’t “meet the burden for a criminal investigation.” He told ABC 7 Chicago’s Rob Elgas:
“We are very appreciative of the victim’s cooperation however the records provided do not meet the burden for a criminal investigation…”
UPDATE: After Jussie Smollett turned over “limited & redacted” phone records, Chicago police spokesman @AJGuglielmi tells @ABC7Chicago “We are very appreciative of the victim’s cooperation however the records provided do not meet the burden for a criminal investigation…”
— Rob Elgas (@RobElgasABC7) February 12, 2019
Elgas would report that a Chicago police spokesman informed him that “detectives may be following up with him (Smollett) to request additional data to corroborate the investigative timeline.”
MORE: Chicago police spokesman says “Detectives may be following up with him (Smollett) to request additional data to corroborate the investigative timeline.”
— Rob Elgas (@RobElgasABC7) February 12, 2019
Police previously told TheWrap on January 31st, “Both the victim and the manager made independent statements to detectives that they were on the phone with one another during the alleged attack. CPD has no reason to doubt these claims. Detectives, however, were not able to independently verify the statements as cell phone records were not provided to investigators when asked. Therefore we are not able to confirm this.”
Smollett alleges that he was attacked by two men near the Chicago River around 2 a.m. on January 29th. The two men allegedly yelled “MAGA country” at him along with homophobic and racial slurs. According to a police report, Smollett claims the men not only shouted at him, but that they hit him in the face, and poured an “unknown substance” on him. They then proceeded to wrap a rope around his neck.
On January 30th, police released surveillance camera footage showing two persons of interest in the case. ABC 7’s Rob Elgas also indicated that the police did not have surveillance camera footage of the alleged attack. They did have video of Smollett and the persons of interest walking on different sides of the street. Surveillance footage did show Smollett with a rope around his neck and what looked like road salt on his sweatshirt. Fox 32 Chicago reporter Rafer Weigel reported that a police source told him that Smollett was seen holding his Subway sandwich after the alleged attack.
— Rafer Weigel (@RaferWeigel) February 1, 2019
On Monday, New York Post reporters discovered an empty bottle that smelled like bleach near the scene of the alleged attack. The Chicago Police Department issued a statement regarding the bottle’s discovery:
“It’s unclear if that is related to the incident as it was not discovered during any of the earlier canvasses but we took it for analysis. The FBI is providing CPD with technical assistance on this case at our request. I’m not sure if the bottle went to their lab or one of ours.”
In a statement made to Essence, Smollett said he has been “working with authorities and have been 100 percent factual and consistent on every level.” He added, “Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served.”
Smollett’s family condemned the alleged attack as an act of “domestic terrorism” in a statement on Instagram:
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Because there’s a light in him that cannot be dimmed, because we are a family of joyful warriors, we will not let this get the best of us. Although this is a picture from happier times, this is the spirit to which we chose to move forward…they will not steal, our joy. ✊🏽✊🏽✊🏽 ________________________________________________________Statement from our family: “ In the early hours of Tuesday morning, our beloved son and brother, Jussie, was the victim of a violent and unprovoked attack. We want to be clear, this was a racial and homophobic hate crime. Jussie has told the police everything from the very beginning. His story has never changed, and we are hopeful they will find these men and bring them to justice. Our family thanks everyone for their prayers and the huge amount of love he has received. We are thankful to our village for your immense support during this trying time. We are so grateful that God saw him through this cowardly attack alive. Jussie is a warrior whose light cannot be dimmed. We want people to understand these targeted hate crimes are happening to our sisters, brothers and our gender non-conforming siblings, many who reside within the intersection of multiple identities, on a monthly, weekly, and sometimes even daily basis all across our country. Oftentimes ending fatally, these are inhumane acts of domestic terrorism and they should be treated as such. They will continue to occur until we hold each other accountable. Make no mistake, words matter. Hateful words lead to hateful actions. Radical love is the only solution, but passivity will be our downfall. We, as a family, will continue to work for love, equity and justice until it reigns supreme in our nation and all over the world. With love & gratitude, The Smollett Family”
Fox 32’s Rafer Weigel reports that Chicago Police superintendent Eddie Johnson will hold Jussie Smollett accountable if their investigation reveals he made a false report.
— Rafer Weigel (@RaferWeigel) February 5, 2019
What do you make of these new statements made by the Chicago PD?