In a Good Morning America interview Monday with Robin Roberts, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson claimed there was a host of more evidence suggesting that Jussie Smollett staged his January hate attack that the public had not yet seen.
“There’s a lot more evidence that hasn’t been presented yet, and does not support the version he gave,” Johnson said. “There’s still a lot of physical evidence, video evidence and testimony that just simply does not support his version of what happened.”
Roberts, you’ll remember, interviewed Smollett earlier this month, and allowed him to tell his version of the events that the Chicago P.D. openly contested in a press conference last week, after Smollett had been officially charged with a felony for allegedly staging the attack. Smollett, through his lawyers, has denied perpetrating a hoax.
In a seeming acknowledgment of the mistrust many members of the public have for the Chicago P.D., which has a history of corruption and racism, Johnson said, “It’s important for people to recognize that it’s not the Chicago police saying that he did something. It’s the evidence, the facts, and the witnesses that are saying this.”
He continued: “The symbolism of a noose [which Smollett said his attackers placed around his neck] is very offensive. The city of Chicago has this issue. The Chicago Police Department has this issue with racism and excessive force and all of that. And I’m acutely aware of that. But we didn’t earn this particular incident. And I just refuse to let us have to take that shot if I have evidence to the contrary. I just want people to understand, that’s a damaging thing to do to a city and to a police department, so it’s my responsibility to ensure that the record gets set straight.”