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Chicago Police bodycam footage shows Jussie Smollett with noose around his neck

Ben Arnold
Contributor

The Chicago Police Department has released the footage of its officers arriving at the apartment of Empire actor Jussie Smollett following his report of an alleged assault.

In the footage, the actor's 'creative director' Frank Gatson is seen speaking to the officers and showing them through the apartment to meet Smollett.

The actor is then seen with a noose made from thin rope around his neck, which he claimed had been put there by his assailants.

Read more: Empire creator says Smollett incident played major part in show’s cancellation

Gatson says to the officers: “I just feel like anything like this happened to me, I would want to report it.

“And the thing that bothers me, kind of makes me emotional, is they put a makeshift, what do you call that thing? A noose around his f**king neck. And that's what bothered me.”

(Credit: Chicago Police Department via AP)

Smollett claimed that he was jumped by the two men as he left a branch of Subway in the early hours of January 29, 2019.

He said they were wearing ski masks, and attacked him in the street using racial and homophobic slurs, as well as pouring an unknown liquid on him.

However, the police said they later received a tip off that the assault had been staged, after which Smollett was charged with the felony of filing a false police report.

The two men involved in the attack, brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, were later arrested and admitted that the attack was staged, but in a further twist, the charges were unexpectedly dropped by prosecutors in March.

The City of Chicago is now suing to recoup the cost of the investigation from Smollett, a figure in the region of £100,000.

Read more: Empire to end with season six

The new video is part of around 1,200 documents from the case which have been released by the Chicago Police Department.

In addition, the Osundairo brothers are suing Smollett for defamation, alleging that the actor 'directed every aspect of the attack, including the location and the noose'.

Empire creator Lee Daniels has said that Smollett won't be returning for the sixth and final season of the TV series, and that he's 'beyond embarrassed' about the incident, but still wants to believe he wasn't involved.

He told Vulture: “Of course, there’s some doubt. I’m telling you that because I love him so much. That’s the torture that I’m in right now, because it’s literally if it were to happen to your son and your child, how would you feel?

“You would feel, Please, God, please let there be that glimmer of hope that there is some truth in this story. That’s why it’s been so painful. It was a flood of pain.”