Chicago PD releases 'persons of interest' in shady Jussie Smollett attack case
Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo were released after a day of questioning after they were taken into custody at O'Hare airport as "persons of interest" in the Smollett case. While they didn't quite fit the narrative Smollett gave – in which two masked (but white) men beat him up, shouted racist and homophobic slurs and a pro-Trump slogan, and poured bleach on him, then put a rope around his neck – they did know the 'Empire' actor, having appeared in the series as extras themselves.
Case Update: Due to new evidence as a result of today's interrogations, the individuals questioned by police in the Empire case have now been released without charging and detectives have additional investigative work to complete. pic.twitter.com/Hswn1Qjgcy— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 16, 2019
Police searched their residence on Wednesday night, recovering a number of items including a red hat, bleach, sneakers, and electronics. The two men had left for Nigeria on the night after Smollett was allegedly assaulted and were on their way back to Chicago when police apprehended them at the airport. They were officially arrested Friday morning, reportedly on suspicion of battery, and questioned further in the presence of their lawyer.Also on rt.com 'Hate crime' attack on 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett was staged, reports suggest
Rumors exploded Thursday after two local news stations reported Smollett's story had been a hoax – reports the Chicago police quickly attempted to quash, calling them "unconfirmed." Fox Entertainment, which produces Empire, dismissed rumors he was being written off the series as "patently ridiculous," a sentiment the show's writers echoed.
The writers of Empire have never planned or even discussed writing @JussieSmollett off of the show.— Empire Writers (@EmpireWriters) February 15, 2019
The hoax rumors refused to die, however.
They were released and Jessie "lawyered" up today with a high profile defense attorney. Looking suspicious!— Melinda (@Makeup_Freak) February 16, 2019
Normally I live by “never rat on you friends and always keep your mouth shut”. But in their case: they came here from Nigeria, went out to get rope and bleach when it was -10, faked an assault, and the mofo didn’t even give them a sandwich. I don’t blame them for snitching.— thetacticalyuppie (@tacticalyuppie) February 16, 2019
Well in a statement released Thursday, police said they identified the two people in the surveillance photos and tracked them down using cameras, public transportation records and “corroborating info provided by Smollett.” That can only be phone records.— Hans Rosenschwein (@HerrHansie) February 16, 2019
Becuase they flipped. They were minor accessories, maybe even unknowingly. Investigators likely getting evidence together for Smollett arrest warrant.— My Name Is Earl (@TheBossman102) February 16, 2019
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