Wednesday, March 27, 2019

On the Recent Developments in the Jussie Smollett Case

Kim Foxx
In the wake of yesterday's shocking action by Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx, in which all 16 felony charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped, CWBChicago obtained a Chicago Police investigative file on the Smollett case under a Freedom of Information Act request. You may read it here and here.

One of the reports in the file states:
The report is being RE-CLASSIFIED from an Aggravated Battery - Hands, Fist, Feet / Minor Injury (0440) to a Public Peace Violations / Other Violation (2890) 
Case re-classification is being done based on the facts of the case, evidence gathered and witness statements.  
Initially, SMOLLETT stated while walking to his residence, he was approached by two offenders who engaged in racial and homophobic slurs directed at SMOLLETT. The offenders then struck the victim about the face and body causing minor injuries. Investigation revealed that a plan was formulated and put into play by SMOLLETT to conduct a staged incident where SMOLLETT was beaten by [redacted] and [redacted] posing as persons other than themselves.  
The file includes a number of interesting and, yes, funny bits to the story not previously known.

Among other things, it appears that Smollett did in fact have bleach applied to him by one of the Nigerian Abimbola "Abel" and Olabinjo "Ola" Osundairo brothers. For some reason they had kept it in a Mexican hot sauce bottle which they subsequently abandoned at the scene:
[Redacted] was shown a large photograph taken of the EL YUCATECO Hot Sauce bottle which was recovered on 07-FEB-2019 near the location listed as 406 North New Street, in Chicago. [Redacted] stated that indeed was the bottle he filled with bleach and poured on SMOLLETT and appeared to be the same picture he viewed the previous day.
Although, given the size  and construction of a typical hot sauce bottle*, one might question the use of "poured". Perhaps "sprinkled" would be more appropriate.

But apparently, this was enough for the "gay Tupac".

One thing that always struck me as odd was why the Osundairo brothers agreed to commit a serious crime for the wealthy Smollett for only $3500. Perhaps part of the reason is that as personal trainers, the brothers didn't appear to be very successful, possibly because they were not very good at bargaining for fees: 
[Redacted] was then asked about his training fees. [Redacted] stated he likes to get $50 an hour, in average but tries to get what he can. [Redacted] stated he sometimes barters his services. [redacted] has taken $20 an hour on the low end and $50 an hour on the high end. [Redacted] stated that training was based on need and availability of the client. Prior to the trip to [redacted] [redacted] stated he had 2 clients, including SMOLLETT. 
[Redacted] stated he currently did not have any clients but was training 11 people on a trial basis for free.

There are many comic elements to this case. But overall, it is of course a horrific injustice and a tragedy. Chicago, with its famously high murder rate, it's less well-known sharp demographic racial segregation (which dictates that the large majority of both murder perpetrators and victims are African-American, from almost exclusively African-American neighborhoods) and its tribal politics doesn't need anymore racial tension. I suppose this could have been one motivation for dropping the case.

But the flip side is almost certainly worse, with trust, such as it is, in any sort of halfway colorblind execution of local government administration or justice taking another hit. The politically correct line is that Smollett got off because he's wealthy and well-connected. That's half-true. But the other half is that he was let off by an African-American politician because he was part-African-American. One couldn't imagine a white hate hoaxer getting the same treatment.

Or at least that's how many will see it.

It should be stated that the villains of the story - including former chief of staff to Michelle Obama Tina Tchen and Cook County prosecutor Joseph Magats - come in all colors.

And it wouldn't be a Chicago grift without the involvement of that ultimate grifter Jesse Jackson. One of the reasons given by prosecutors for dropping the charges against Smollett was that he had secretly put in sixteen hours of volunteer work for Jackson's Rainbow PUSH Coalition, helping them out with camera angles for a recent broadcast, among other things.

Tom Wolfe couldn't have invented that.   

I suppose Chicago will muddle through as it always has.

It survived the Capone crime family. It will no doubt survive this family.

The Feds are apparently still pursuing a case against Smollett for faking that threat letter. Perhaps that will be his "tax evasion" moment.

But for now he is flying First Class back to New York.

* The photo of the hand holding a bottle of El Yucateco hot sauce is from a 2013 Tweet by Joe Rogan, of all people: "This hot sauce is f**king LEGIT. Mexicans make the best hot sauce."


  1. Is there such a thing as Black Privilege?

  2. Similar to the O.J. jury trial fiasco. Hopefully, the Feds have better luck.

  3. I heard the radio interview where he melted down. I’m sure he’ll do something else really, unavoidably stupid and criminal and won’t be under the protection of Chicago justice.