Actor Jussie Smollett, the man who allegedly staged an infamous hate crime hoax to advance his career, attended a Black Lives Matter protest outside Trump Tower in New York where he raised a fist in solidarity.
“Wearing a baseball cap and an orange face mask, the star who appeared in the series Empire gathered with other demonstrators outside Trump Tower to fight against systemic racism and police brutality,” reported the Daily Mail. “The tower has been an epicenter for protests in the city where Mayor Bill de Blasio helped paint a Black Lives Matter mural on Fifth Avenue facing Trump’s building.”
“Smollett wore a blue T-shirt and jean shorts for the protest and was recognized by his distinctive equal sign tattoo on his right arm,” the report continued. “It’s not clear what group he was protesting with.”
On Saturday, protests outside the tower chanted that President Donald Trump be removed from office. At night, they displayed a banner that read, “Trump/Pence #OutNow.” A flag was also raised emblazoned with the message, “Revolution Now!”
Jussie Smollett raises a fist at Black Lives Matter protest in front of Trump Tower in New York https://t.co/QaiZvc4EzY
— Daily Mail Celebrity (@DailyMailCeleb) July 27, 2020
As The Daily Wire reported, Smollett’s presence at the protest comes over a month after he connected his legal troubles in Chicago with ongoing protests in response to the tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer.
In the filing, first reported by TMZ and since published online, Smollett’s lawyers try to use the protests against police, which have increasingly taken the form of the radical “Defund The Police” movement, to the embattled actor’s advantage.
Smollett is attempting to obtain documents about the firing of Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who was superintendent during Smollett’s explosive investigation. Johnson’s subsequent firing, Smollett’s legal team insists, is relevant to his case. The city says Johnson’s termination has nothing to do with whether or not Smollett lied to police about the supposed hate crime against him.
In early 2019, the “Empire” actor claimed he fell victim to a hate crime on one cold winter’s night in Chicago at the hands of two men who derided him with homophobic slurs and then yelled “this is MAGA country” before tying a noose around his neck. At first, the media took Smollett’s story at face-value until evidence quickly mounted that he had hired two brothers from Nigeria to stage the attack, supposedly in an effort to boost his salary on the show.
After Jussie Smollet turned himself in to police for the felony charge of filing a false police report, the situation took a turn for the worse when the charges against were suddenly dropped by Chicago prosecutor Kim Foxx, prompting outrage from both the Chicago Police Department and Mayor Rahm Emanuel. In an obvious attempt to rectify the situation and regain city trust, a Chicago judge appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the way his case was handled.
Smollett has since been indicted on charges of disorderly conduct; the city of Chicago is also suing Smollett for $130,000 in wasted police resources. He has failed to have the charges dropped on the basis of double-jeopardy.