Jussie Smollett, who is accused of staging a highly publicized hate crime, has been indicted in a Cook County court for 16 different felonies. Eight of the felonies involve lies that he allegedly told the police officer who filed the report, and eight include lies he told the detective who investigated the case. Smollett’s story went viral after he claimed that he was beaten and restrained by a group of Trump supporters. He was later accused of paying two people to attack him.
On Friday, the Chief Communications Officer of the Chicago Police department tweeted “As Supt Johnson stated, allegations against Mr. Smollett are shameful & if proven, they are an affront to the people of Chicago who embraced him as a neighbor & respected him as a role model. We stand behind the work of detectives & refer any comment on indictment to prosecutors.” Smollett’s case has been held out as a prominent example of fake hate crimes following the 2016 Presidential Election.
Since the election, there have been a series of highly publicized incidents of fake hate crimes that have shaken the public’s trust in the media and in hate crime victims. Many prominent voices have accused the media of siding too quickly with the alleged victim of these hate hoaxes. Just two months ago, the mainstream media as well as many celebrities attacked students from Covington High School that were attending a March for Life rally in Washington D.C for harassing a Native American activist. Shortly after the incident, footage and testimony came out that contradicted the initial account.
While hate hoaxes throughout the country continue to abound, there are many instances of verifiable political violence committed against conservatives on a regular basis. Just a month ago, conservative activist Hayden Williams was canvassing for a conservative organization at the University of Berkeley when a far left activist approached him and punched him in the face. It took the media two to three weeks to begin to cover the incident.