CNN’s Symone Sanders called for the Chicago Police Department to release the evidence against Jussie Smollett, during her Thursday appearance on “The Lead with Jake Tapper.” Her demand came the same day Smollett was arrested for allegedly filing a false police report.
“Look, Jake, so one, I have spoken with Jussie Smollett’s team. I’ve heard Jussie tell his account in his own words and I want to tell you, when I had this conversation about two days ago, I believed him. It was staunchly believable. But Jake, when the video came out yesterday of the two gentlemen buying what I refer to as the hate crime starter pack, I, like everyone else, had questions,” Sanders began. (RELATED: Jussie Smollett Arrested After Alleged ‘MAGA’ Hoax)
“At this point, my thoughts are that I think we need to see some of the evidence. I think it’s very concerning that all of these leaks came from the Chicago Police Department,” she continued. “So frankly, all we have is leaks from the Chicago Police Department, now what they’ve said in this press conference and what Jussie Smollett and his team have said. And so, at the very least, I think we should see the police report.”
Sanders continued, “This is not a good day for Jussie Smollett. And frankly, it’s a terrible day for folks who have not come forward, who have experienced hate crimes and who now are hesitant, maybe hesitant to come forward if something does actually happen to them because of this. It’s just not a good day, Jake. It’s still a terrible Black History Month.”
Smollett filed a police report alleging that two Trump supporters beat him up in the middle of the night. He claimed they poured a bleach-like substance on him and tied a noose-like rope around his neck while shouting racist and homophobic slurs.
Investigators concluded the Smollett orchestrated the attack and paid his attackers $3,500. Smollett was charged Wednesday night with disorderly conduct for filing a false police report.