As the city of Chicago felt the pain of the hateful attack against the city’s own Empire star; the heartbreaking story did not seem to add up to the Chicago police department. Days after the reported attack, citizens across the country were demanding social reform for a crime committed based upon Jussie Smollett’s sexual orientation.
The Chicago police department, however, were investigating all potential angles to discover exactly what crime was committed. Jussie Smollett spoke out against his attackers, but little did he know that his outspoken words would land him inside a prison cell.
As everyday citizens, we typically encourage and embrace when a celebrity uses their platform in order to speak out against social or economical injustices. Take for example Chance the rapper, a local hero in Chicago, he uses his fame in ways to be a voice for many who cannot speak for themselves.
Another example would be the basketball star Lebron James, who has spoken out against racism, using his fame and fortune to help individuals in a time of need. But what happens when a local celebrity uses their platform to fake crime and send police officers on a wild goose chase? The answer to that question for Jussie Smollett is free room and board at the Cook County Jail. Not only is the Empire stars action a crime, but in Illinois, his actions are actually a felony offense.
Police investigations can take up some serious time and resources. The city of Chicago has no shortage of crime and as citizens of our city, we would love to see our tax dollars spent investigating actual crimes. In Illinois, it is a crime for an individual to knowingly transmit to any police officer a report that an offense is being committed, or has been committed, knowing at the time of the transmission that there is no reasonable ground for believing that the offense was committed.
Filing a false police report is known as the offense of disorderly conduct and is a class 4 felony in Illinois.
If the investigation reveals that the Empire star filed a false police report and Chicago police detectives were forced to take valuable time and resources away from the streets of our crime-filled city, then Mr. Smollett might be looking at some serious prison time.
So what is the grand prize for pulling a fast one on the city of Chicago? Well... Unfortunately for Jussie, the punishment is steep. The Empire star is looking at a maximum punishment of up to 4 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Of course, this all depends on what the investigation from the Chicago police department turns out to reveal.
What we know now is that Jussie has hired a criminal defense attorney to defend him and we also know that Chicago detectives have already released the alleged attackers from custody without charges. In all likelihood, Jussie will be charged with the felony offense of disorderly conduct and will need to have a Chicago criminal defense lawyer on his side.
The crime of disorderly conduct is considered a class 4 felony in Illinois. A Class 4 felony is punishable by 1-4 years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000.
Things are not looking so bright for this star, as it turns out his acting was not up to par with the Chicago police department. Only time will tell where the Jussie Smollett investigation will lead. Although he may have been cut from the show Empire, the lights will definitely be shining on Jussie Smollett. Unfortunately for Jussie... those shining lights are going to be blue and red.