“Empire” star Jussie Smollett says he’s “continuing to work closely” with authorities investigating a “possible hate crime” committed against him after the Chicago Police Department rejected his phone records.
Sgt. Rocco Alioto told USA TODAY that although they appreciate Smollett’s cooperation, the submitted records were rejected because they “do not meet the burden for a criminal investigation as they were limited and heavily redacted.”
A spokesperson for Smollett confirmed that the actor “voluntarily provided his phone records” shortly after the altercation, adding that any redactions were “intended to protect the privacy of personal contacts or high-profile individuals not relevant to the attack.”
Detectives say they will likely need more information from Smollett to “corroborate the investigative timeline,” but his spokesperson, Chris Bastardi, reaffirmed that “Jussie is the victim here.”
“Chicago PD has repeatedly informed us that they find Jussie’s account of what happened that night consistent and credible,” Bastardi continued. The “Superintendent (of Police) has been clear from day one that Jussie is a victim.”
Officers say Smollett was approached in the early morning of Jan. 29 by two people who “gained his attention by yelling out racial and homophobic slurs towards him.” The assailants reportedly punched him in the face, poured a chemical on him and wrapped a rope around his neck.
“We are continuing to work closely with the Chicago PD and remain confident that they will find Jussie’s attackers and bring them to justice,” Bastardi said on behalf of Smollett.
No arrests have been made but police continue to collect and review surveillance video from the area and look for possible witnesses, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. – with wires
During their time in jail, Fleming wrote multiple letters to Luster, North Las Vegas Police Chief Pamela Ojeda told reporters, including one that was torn into pieces that detectives put back together.
In one of the notes, Fleming allegedly wrote: “What happened was totally unintentional, I’m sorry, I hope you know that.”
The couple moved to Florida after their release, police say. Then, on Jan. 29 this year, after police had reworked the case for a year and a half, authorities in Florida arrested Fleming, who will face charges in Nevada.
Wiese said most of the evidence in the case is the same that was collected in the initial investigation. “Part of it is just time. Over time, you look at that evidence in different ways,” he told reporters.