Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson was able to sit in at the Good Morning America show earlier today and talk about Empire actor Jussie Smollett’s case. While being interviewed by the show’s co-host Robin Roberts, Johnson revealed that there was substantial evidence regarding the alleged attack that the public does not fully know about.
“Let me tell, you, Robin, there’s a lot more evidence that hasn’t been presented yet, and does not support the version he gave,” Johnson said. “There’s still a lot of physical evidence, video evidence, and testimony that just simply does not support his version of what happened.”
ABC News was able to attain new information that serves as evidence. A check from Smollett to Abimbola Osundairo, one of the brothers, was written for $3,500 on January 23, six days before the attack took place. The memo line reads: “5 week Nutrition/Workout program (Don’t Go).” “Don’t Go” is an upcoming music video that Smollett was being trained for by Osundairo. However, the reason why it counts as evidence is that $3,500 is the same amount that the two men were paid for to set the attack, as previously revealed by the brothers.
In the attack against Smollett, one of the brothers put a noose around Smollett’s neck. “I grew up in the tail end of the Civil Rights era,” Johnson said, adding that he was raised in Chicago’s Cabrini-Green housing projects. “The symbolism of the noose is very offensive,” Johnson said.
“There are real victims of crimes of that nature, hate crimes, and I hope that people don’t treat those with skepticism,” Johnson said.
Any case with a celebrity involved is always looked at with such scrutiny by the public. Sometimes the police can be painted as “untrustworthy.”
“It’s important for people to recognize that it’s not the Chicago Police Department saying he did something,” Johnson said. “It’s the evidence, the facts and the witnesses that are saying this.”
Eddie Johnson’s full interview can be found on Good Morning America’s website.