Eddie Johnson, Chicago’s superintendent of police, said on Monday there is “a lot more evidence” in the case against the accused hate crime hoaxer, Jussie Smollett, even as the actor receives unwavering support from colleagues who maintain his innocence.
“There’s a lot more evidence that hasn’t been presented yet and does not support the version he gave,” Johnson told Robin Roberts of ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
“There’s still a lot of physical evidence, video evidence and testimony that just simply does not support his version of what happened,” he added.
Earlier this month, Smollett himself talked to Roberts on camera — and many felt it was a softball interview.
Smollett is accused of disorderly conduct and filing a false police report. The 36-year-old allegedly paid two brothers to feign an attack on him, which the gay and black actor said was motivated by racial hatred and homophobia from Trump supporters.
Smollett paid a pair of Nigerian brothers to carry out an alleged hoax with a check for $3,500, the memo line of which said, “5 Week Nutrition/Workout Program Don’t Go,” as TMZ noted.
Colleague Terrence Howard came to Smollett’s defense in an Instagram post this past weekend.
“The Jussie I know could never even conceive of something so unconscious and ugly,” Howard wrote on Instagram on Sunday.
Howard and Smollett are co-stars on Fox’s “Empire.” Howard’s character, Lucious Lyon, plays the father of Smollett’s character, Jamal Lyon.
The Instagram post contained a video showing Smollett snuggling with and tickling a baby in what appears to be a private plane.
The video’s caption read, “All your lil homies got you. We love the hell outta you” — and included a heart emoji.
A second “Empire” co-star, Gabourey Sidbe posted three heart emojis as her comment on Howard’s post, as Rolling Stone reported.
Smollett now has been written out of the last two episodes of “Empire.”
On Monday, a judge said he may travel out of state to meet with his attorneys while out on bond, as Fox News host Laura Ingraham noted on “The Ingraham Angle” on Monday night.
Smollett is due in court on March 14.
Donald Trump Jr. told the hosts of “Fox & Friends” on Monday that Instagram had removed a post of his that was critical of Smollett and questioned the believability of his story.
“It takes guts to actually go out there and question the narrative,” said Trump Jr., who indicated he had posted a note on Instagram questioning Smollett’s depiction of events “a couple of weeks ago.”
After reposting the content, Trump Jr. said he was inundated with direct messages from users who were alerting him to issues they were having with accessing his content.
One, his best friend from high school, contacted him to report that Trump Jr.’s content was no longer appearing in his feed.
Trump Jr. also mentioned that users told him his account was not among the top five in searches on the platform for his name — and that users were being locked out of “liking” his content on the basis of “liking” constituting “spam-like behavior.”
I think the police department did an awesome job, very fair and did it by the book. Hollywood needs to clean up their act. They're nuts, and out of touch with reality.
— Heather Pece (@addyandcoal) February 25, 2019
Watched the segment. I agree that big tech is testing the censorship waters for 2020.
— Dan Fowler (@txfowl) February 26, 2019
He theorized that the social media platform was testing the waters, trying to determine to what extent it could censor conservative posts and get away with it.
“It feels like it’s a dry run, where they’re trying to suppress any kind of right-wing message, any kind of conservative message for 2020,” said Trump Jr.
“They’re setting it up. They’re just seeing how far they can go … If they can do it to me, think of what they can do to a regular guy,” he added.
“I’m going to keep fighting this because it’s not right. It’s not fair,” Trump Jr. also said. “We’ve got to put an end to this nonsense.”
And check out this video:
Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and regular contributor to LifeZette.