Democratic California Sen. Kamala Harris released a statement Thursday evening about the arrest of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett. Smollett was charged with disorderly conduct for filing a false police report after allegedly orchestrating a fake hate crime last month.
“Like most of you, I’ve seen the reports about Jussie Smollett, and I’m sad, frustrated, and disappointed. When anyone makes false claims to police, it not only diverts resources away from serious investigations but it makes hit more difficult for other victims of chimer to come forward,” her statement began. “At the same time, we must speak the truth: hate crimes are on the rise in America.” (RELATED: Jussie Smollett Arrested After Alleged ‘MAGA’ Hoax)
Like most of you, I’ve seen the reports about Jussie Smollett, and I’m sad, frustrated, and disappointed. pic.twitter.com/91OHOymShi
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) February 21, 2019
“Just last year, the FBI released statistics that revealed a 17 percent increase in the number of hate crimes in America. Part of the tragedy of this situation is that it distracts from that truth, and has been seized by some who would like to dismiss and downplay the every real problems that we must address,” she continued. “We should not allow that. I will always condemn racism and homophobia. We must always confront hate directly, and we must always seek justice. That is what I will keep fighting for.”
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.
But investigators concluded the Smollett orchestrated the entire situation and paid his attackers. Smollett was charged Wednesday night with filing a false police report.
@JussieSmollett is one of the kindest, most gentle human beings I know. I’m praying for his quick recovery. This was an attempted modern day lynching. No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate,” Harris tweeted on Jan. 29 the day after the attack supposedly happened.
Harris ignored reporters earlier on Thursday when she was confronted by reporters after having lunch with Al Sharpton.