Police have taken actor Jussie Smollett into custody after they reached the conclusion that he staged a hate crime against himself. Now, the police have announced what they believe motivated him to do pay two brothers $3,500 to attack him.
Police say that the "Empire" actor sent himself a racist and homophobic letter and staged the attack because he was dissatisfied with his salary.
He staged the attempt to get more publicity. Thursday, he surrendered to police and is being held until a bail hearing.
According to the New York Times, a visibly angry Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson said Mr. Smollett "had taken advantage of the pain and anger of racism, draining resources that could have been used to investigate other crimes for which people were actually suffering."
“I just wish that the families of gun violence in this city got this much attention,” he said at a news conference in Chicago.
The superintendent was particularly upset that he used a noose in the fake assault. He criticized him for the dangerous symbolism that he evoked.
“Why would anyone — especially an African-American man — use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations?” he asked. “How could someone look at the hatred and suffering associated with that symbol and see an opportunity to manipulate that symbol to further his own public profile?”
A representative for Mr. Smollett did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday. The actor has maintained that he did not do anything wrong.