8 Things We Learned From Jussie Smollett's Case Documents Released by Chicago Police
By Zach Seemayer
Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images
It's been more than two months since criminal charges were dropped against Jussie Smollett in regards to allegations that he orchestrated a fake attack and filed false police reports. Smollett has denied all accusations and has long maintained that he was a victim in the incident.
On Thursday, the Chicago Police Department finally released the comprehensive case files that include 460 pages of police reports, booking sheets and interview records.
Here's a look at 8 things we learned from the documents.
1. Smollett Kept the Evidence On
According to the reports, the alleged attack occurred at 2 a.m. on Jan. 29, near where he was residing in Chicago while filming the most recent season of Empire.
The attack, according to Smollett's recollection, saw him get covered in bleach as two attackers hurled racial epithets, and placed a noose around his neck.
After the attack, he walked back to his hotel, past the night doorman, and up to his room, where he then called the cops. Responding officers arrived at 2:42 a.m.
According to the report, police arrived to "find him with white rope draped around his neck and stained clothing." Meaning he kept a noose hanging around his neck for nearly 40 minutes. Additionally, responding officers said that, "Upon being informed that the interview [was] being recorded, [the victim] requested the body cameras be turned off."
2. So Many Resources Went Into The Investigation
The Chicago Police assigned nine detectives, four assisting police officers and two evidence technicians to follow every lead they could, which they did for weeks.
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They collected the security camera footage from the Subway restaurant Smollett bought his 2 a.m. tuna sandwich from, as well as the loading dock of a Lowes, a Target, the River East Center, a Burlington Coat Factory and a Walgreens, among others.
A great deal of the 460 page collection of documents is dedicated to detailing the challenges the detectives faced in simply getting employees at these stores to provide them the footage they needed to conduct their investigation.
3. Late Night Cravings?
According to Smollett during his first formal interview with detectives, the reason he left his residence at 2 a.m., when the temperature outside was in single digits, was to go buy eggs from a Walgreens a few blocks away, which turned out to be closed.
Smollett bought a tuna sandwich and a salad from Subway, which got knocked to the ground during the altercation. However, after the alleged attack he picked up his food and brought it back to his room
4. Identity Revealed
According to the Chicago Police, the men who attacked Smollett were two brothers named Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo. One of the ways the brothers were identified stemmed from them paying for an Uber before the attack.
The police reports also stated that the Osundairo brothers didn't take an Uber all the way to the scene of the alleged incident. Instead, they ordered the driver to let them out early, and then crossed a street and hailed a yellow cab, for unknown reasons.
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The Uber driver told police one of the brothers "almost got hit by a cab going the opposite direction when he dropped off the two passengers."
Days after Smollett filed the first police report, detectives asked him to walk them through the alleged attack at the site of the location, which the actor had no problem doing. According to the documents, Smollett pointed out a water bottle he claimed he bought at Subway and dropped during the incident.
When detectives asked Smollett to sign over medical records from the night of the attack, he declined to do so. He also refused to turn over his phone.
6. Smollett's Story Starts to Change
After the Osundairo brothers were arrested, they claimed that Smollett had hired them to stage an attack. Detectives then reinterviewed Smollett, and small but important changes were noticed in his recounting of events.
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While Jussie first described his attackers as white men, he later told investigators they were "pale." Also, the way he described how much of their faces he could see through their masks appeared to differ from his previous statements. He then said he never claimed they were white, and added that he had "assumed they were white dudes due to the comments that were made."
Additionally, Smollett told police that he'd only been talking to Moore, his manager, during his walk through the street before getting attacked. Later, he said he'd also called his "trainer," who he'd been working with because he "wanted to get 'shredded' for an upcoming music video."
His trainer? Abimbola Osundairo.
Also, when confronted by the news that the two brothers were the ones who attacked him, Smollett said they couldn't be the ones because, "They are black as sin."
7. Smollett Allegedly Used Venmo to Buy Pills From His Attackers
After Smollett finally did allow investigators to go over his phone records, which they also obtained a court order for, they claim to have discovered a long friendship between the actor and his trainer-turned-supposed-attacker.
In fact, they found a text exchange in which Smollett allegedly went to Osundairo to purchase ecstasy and weed, and he allegedly paid over Venmo.
8. Negotiating the Details
One of the most notorious details to emerge from the Smollett case involved a $3,500 personal check he wrote to the Osundairo brothers, which he claimed was for personal training. As it turns out, the brothers themselves were divided in their opinion on what the money was really for.
One brother "stated he thought the money was for the staged hate crime," where as the other brother, "thought the money was for both the hate crime and training."
According to a statement the brothers made to authorities, they also had to work out the details of the attack. They claim Smollett first suggested they pour gasoline on him, before the decision was made to switch to bleach. The brothers said that Smollett was also clear that only one brother (the name of which was redacted in the report) was to hit him, because he didn't trust the other to pull his punches.
The attack was also supposed to go down on Jan. 28, according to the brothers' statement, but Smollett rescheduled at the last minute because his flight had been delayed.
Smollett allegedly chose the location of the incident because it would be caught clearly on a nearby security camera. According to the report, "It was discovered, after the incident, that the camera was pointed up the street and did not record the incident."
UPDATE: On Friday, the Cook County State’s Attorney released over 2,000 more pages of evidence in the case, which included screenshots of text messages, email transcripts and first photographs of evidence in the case. CBS News Chicago summarized some of the information gleaned from the new docs, which includes the Chicago PD's claim -- based on a search warrant for Smollett's Instagram -- that the actor picked the spot of the attack intentionally because of the Chicago POD camera placement. The documents also include photographs of the hot sauce bottle and rope that were allegedly used in the attack.
Police say Jussie Smollett did a drive through rehearsal prior to Jan 29 near scene of reported attack. Here is police surveillance pictures of his Mercedes. @cbschicagopic.twitter.com/8Foj5CeszD