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A Timeline Of What Happened When : NPR

A Timeline Of What Happened When : NPR

Jussie Smollett, seen earlier this month outdoors a courthouse in Chicago, has stood in the eye of a squall of controversy since submitting his police report in late January. Amid all the very public tumult, issues have doubtless gotten fairly confusing for the typical news-watcher.

Matt Marton/AP


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Matt Marton/AP

Jussie Smollett, seen earlier this month outdoors a courthouse in Chicago, has stood in the eye of a squall of controversy since filing his police report in late January. Amid all the very public tumult, things have possible gotten somewhat confusing for the typical news-watcher.

Matt Marton/AP

In a span of simply two months, Jussie Smollett has made a radical transformation within the public eye: from a well-known face to weekly viewers of the TV show Empire, to a lightning rod of controversy — a reputation more likely to inspire as many robust opinions because the people who convey it up.

So how, exactly, did all this happen in so little time?

This is an try and plot that tortuous path for these at house who is perhaps, understandably, quite confused. Simply scroll right down to read the timeline so as, full with hyperlinks to NPR’s earlier protection, or click on an date under to leap to a selected incident.

  • Jan. 22: Smollett receives threatening letter
  • Jan. 29: Smollett studies getting attacked
  • Feb. 1: Smollett releases first official statement
  • Feb. 13: Smollett speaks to ABC News — the same day “persons of interest” are apprehended
  • Feb. 15: Police investigation takes a turn
  • Feb. 19: Prepare dinner County state’s lawyer broadcasts recusal
  • Feb. 20: Smollett charged with disorderly conduct
  • Feb. 21: Police clarify allegations towards Smollett
  • Feb. 22: Smollett’s character faraway from episodes of Empire
  • March 7: Grand jury returns 16-count indictment
  • March 26: Prosecutors drop the fees

Jan. 22: Smollett receives threatening letter

Smollett, who is black and gay and performs a gay character on Empire, says he acquired a letter at the Chicago studios where the show is filmed. Contained in the letter — in line with the actor — have been a then-unknown powder, a drawing of a stick figure hanging from a tree, and cutout letters stating: “Smollett Jussie you will die black f***.”

“The return address said in big red, you know, like, caps: MAGA,” the actor later defined in an interview with ABC News, referencing an abbreviation of President Trump’s campaign slogan, Make America Great Again.

Chicago police later affirm that the FBI is main an investigation into the letter.

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Jan. 29: Smollett reviews getting attacked

Smollett tells police that he was brutally assaulted overnight in downtown Chicago. In his report, he says two people yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him, beat him up, poured a chemical on him, and left him with a rope wrapped around his neck. Local police acknowledge they’re treating the incident as a “possible hate crime,” and common outrage erupts — including from celebrities and national politicians.

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Feb. 1: Smollett releases first official statement

Smollett releases an official statement, his first public touch upon the alleged attack since his police report surfaced.

“Let me start by saying that I’m OK. My body is strong but my soul is stronger. More importantly I want to say thank you. The outpouring of love and support from my village has meant more than I will ever be able to truly put into words,” he stated in his unique statement to Essence journal.

“I am working with authorities and have been 100% factual and consistent on every level. Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served.”

His family also releases a lengthy statement. “We want to be clear, this was a racial and homophobic hate crime,” they say on Instagram. “Jussie has told the police everything from the very beginning.”

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Feb. 13: Smollett speaks to ABC Information — the identical day as “persons of interest” are apprehended

Smollett provides his first televised interview because the alleged attack. In a dialog with journalist Robin Roberts on Good Morning America, the actor says he’s “pissed off” — not solely on the alleged attackers, but in addition at doubts about his account which have begun circulating, partly predicated on his obvious delay in turning over his “limited and redacted” telephone data to police.

“You know, at first it was a thing of, like, listen, if I tell the truth then that’s it, because it’s the truth,” he stated with tears welling in his eyes.

“Then it became a thing of, like, oh, how can you doubt that? Like, how do you not believe that? It’s the truth. And then it became a thing of, like, oh, it’s not necessarily that you don’t believe that this is the truth. You don’t even want to see the truth.”

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The identical day the interview airs, authorities quietly apprehend two males at Chicago O’Hare Worldwide Airport. Police later say the pair, recognized as African-American brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo, have been coming back from a two-week journey abroad. Police additionally clarify that the brothers have been previously linked with Empire.

Around the time of the apprehension, police launch few particulars, merely saying that they have “identified the persons of interest” within the Smollett investigation.

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Feb. 15: Police investigation takes a turn

After almost 48 hours in police custody, the brothers comply with cooperate with investigators and implicate Smollett, saying he orchestrated what they describe as a faked incident.

The 2 men are launched from custody at the finish of their legally allowed hold time. A police spokesman points a press release slim on details and mysterious enough to elicit further questions: “Due to new evidence as a result of today’s interrogations,” Anthony Guglielmi – the Chicago Police Division’s Chief Communications Officer – tweets, “the individuals questioned by police in the Empire case have now been released without charging and detectives have additional investigative work to complete.”

Two days later, he says they intend to speak again with Smollett.

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Feb. 19: Prepare dinner County state’s lawyer pronounces recusal

The top prosecutor in Chicago, Prepare dinner County State’s Lawyer Kim Foxx, proclaims that she is recusing herself from the Smollett investigation. Shortly afterward, her workplace explains that she did so “out of an abundance of caution.”

“Shortly after the incident occurred in late January, State’s Attorney Foxx had conversations with a family member of Jussie Smollett about the incident and their concerns, and facilitated a connection to the Chicago Police Department who were investigating the incident,” a consultant of the workplace later explains in a press release.

In line with the assertion, Foxx “decided to remove herself from the decision making in this matter and delegated it to her First Assistant Joseph Magats.”

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Feb. 20: Smollett charged with disorderly conduct

The Prepare dinner County State’s Lawyer’s Workplace approves charging Jussie Smollett with filing a false police report, a felony that carries a penalty of as much as three years in prison.

Smollett surrenders to police early the subsequent day.

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Feb. 21: Police explain allegations towards Smollett

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson speaks in no uncertain phrases concerning the case and Smollett himself, who’s shortly released on bail.

“Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career,” Johnson tells journalists. “I’m left hanging my head and asking why.”

He says the threatening letter Smollett acquired on Jan. 22 was orchestrated by the actor “to gain attention.” And “when that didn’t work,” Johnson says Smollett approached the brothers and “paid $3,500 to stage this attack and drag Chicago’s reputation through the mud.”

In a proffer learn later that day in courtroom, authorities explain in painstaking detail how they consider Smollett deliberate and carried out the alleged hoax — together with how he chosen the situation the place it occurred and the way the brothers fled the scene and later the country.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel weighs in, as properly: “A single individual who put their perceived self-interest ahead of these shared principles will never trump Chicago’s collective spirit,” he says.

Smollett’s lawyer dismisses the police claims as “outrageous allegations” that the actor “vehemently denies.” In response to his lawyer, Smollett “wants nothing more than to clear his name.”

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Feb. 22: Smollett’s character removed from episodes of Empire

The producers of Empire announce that Smollett’s character on the show, Jamal, will probably be removed from this system’s ultimate episodes of the present season.

In a joint assertion released a day after his arrest, they say that whereas “we care about him deeply,” they have been making the transfer in order “to avoid further disruption on set.”

The producers, together with Danny Robust and Lee Daniels, don’t handle the actor’s standing on seasons to return.

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March 7: Grand jury returns 16-count indictment

A Prepare dinner County grand jury significantly magnifies the legal jeopardy dealing with Smollett, returning 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct towards him for submitting a false police report and making false statements to Chicago officers.

Each of the fees carries a potential sentence of up to three years in jail.

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March 26: Prosecutors drop the fees

The Prepare dinner County State’s Lawyer’s Office abruptly drops the fees towards Smollett, explaining in a quick statement that the move was principally motivated by “Mr. Smollet[t]’s volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his [$10,000] bond to the City of Chicago.”

First Assistant State’s Lawyer Joseph Magats, who took over the case after Kim Foxx’s recusal, says the choice should not be seen as an exoneration of Smollett or “some kind of admission there was something wrong with the case.”

However, Smollett and his attorneys rejoice the shock reversal as a sign that the actor was an innocent sufferer of “an inappropriate rush to judgment.”

“I’ve been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one,” Smollett tells reporters after a courtroom listening to in Chicago. “I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I was being accused of.”

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson was not shy in expressing his frustration with prosecutors’ choice to drop the fees towards Jussie Smollett. During a joint information conference with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Johnson reiterated his belief that Smollett “committed this hoax.”

Teresa Crawford/AP


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Teresa Crawford/AP

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson was not shy in expressing his frustration with prosecutors’ determination to drop the fees towards Jussie Smollett. During a joint information conference with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Johnson reiterated his belief that Smollett “committed this hoax.”

Teresa Crawford/AP

Chicago’s local authorities, nevertheless, categorical outrage on the prosecutors’ choice — and a agency conviction that Smollett perpetrated a hoax.

“I’ve heard that they wanted their day in court with TV cameras so America could know the truth,” Chicago Police Superintendent Johnson says, “and now they chose to hide behind secrecy and broker a deal, to circumvent the judicial system.”

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, talking on the similar news conference as Johnson, echoes that sentiment. “It is not on the level, from beginning to end,” he says. “There needs to be a level of accountability throughout the system, and this sends an unambiguous message that there is no accountability. And that is wrong.”

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