Empire star Jussie Smollett was indicted on Friday by a Chicago-area grand jury for 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct, after filing what police are calling a falsified report of a possible hate criminal offense.
Chicago Cops had actually currently arrested Smollett last month and charged him with one count of falsifying a police report, however the Cook County grand jury on Friday counted each part of his story independently-- suggesting that the star might face up to 64 years in prison if convicted, with each of the 16 charges carrying a possible sentence that varies from probation to 4 years in jail.
In January, Smollett was hospitalized after informing authorities he was the victim of a racist and homophobic hate criminal activity, where the criminals had put a noose around his neck and poured chemicals on him. After the story got headings around the country, Chicago Authorities apprehended Smollett in February, after concluding that he had actually staged the occurrence due to the fact that he was unhappy with his salary on the Fox drama. Two siblings who were at first jailed by Chicago Authorities in connection with the incident said they were paid $3,500 by Smollet to stage the attack.
In a declaration last month, Smollett stayed adamant about his story and rejected he played any function in the attack. "In spite of my frustrations and deep worry about specific inaccuracies and misstatements that have been spread, I still think justice will be served," he said. On Friday, Smollet's lawyer told People Publication that the "indictment is absolutely nothing more than a desperate attempt to make headings."
Chicago Authorities Superintendent Eddie Johnson told CNN's Don Lemon that they offered Smollett the benefit of the doubt until the proof recommended otherwise. "A lot of these things will come out in court ... we categorized him as a victim all the way of up until the 47th hour," Johnson stated.
Jussie Smollett's alleged scam does not alter the reality of violence that individuals of color, women, and the LGBTQ neighborhood face daily
Regardless of the result of the case, Smollett's situation speaks with a much bigger conversation: whether or not individuals believe that hate criminal activities are a common event in the United States.
As Vox's German Lopez argued in February, even if Smollett's case was staged, the large bulk of hate criminal offenses are not-- and "the reality that one well-publicized report turned out to be incorrect shouldn't distract from the scope of the issue":
The FBI publishes a nationwide analysis on hate crimes, based upon police reports, each year-- concluding that there were more than 7,100 in 2017, up 17 percent from the year prior to. That's almost 20 hate crimes a day.
This likely downplays the variety of hate crimes in the United States. When the United States Bureau of Justice Stats (BJS) surveyed big segments of the population between 2004 and 2015, it concluded that there are 250,000 hate criminal activities annually. The FBI, simply put, might be undercounting the number of hate criminal offenses by the numerous thousands.
That's backed up by outside research too: As ProPublica's DocumentingHate task has explained, majority of hate crime victims do not report to the police. In some areas, The Baltimore Sun discovered that police just sent out verified reports to the FBI, disregarding events in which the declared wrongdoer might not be discovered. And BuzzFeed News discovered that close to 90 percent of law enforcement agencies that send information to the FBI claim there are no hate criminal activities in their cities.
While Smollett's case makes waves, the day-to-day truth of communities Tvshow that are impacted hate crimes will continue regardless-- and typically, without protection.