Jussie Smollett case to go before grand jury next week

While the Jussie Smollett "hate crime" fable continues to unravel, TMZ is reporting that the case will go before a grand jury next week.

Law enforcement sources connected to the investigation tell TMZ, the 2 brothers who were arrested and then released are staying somewhere around the Loop in downtown Chicago under the watchful eye of police so no one gets to them.  We're told cops especially want to make sure Jussie does not contact the brothers.

We're told when police raided the home of the 2 brothers they found magazines with pages torn out, and authorities are now trying to determine if the missing pages are connected to the threatening letter that was sent to Jussie 8 days before the alleged attack.

Our sources say early on they asked Jussie if he'd sign complaints against the 2 men who attacked him and he was clear that he would.  But, when he found out the 2 brothers were the ones in custody we're told he said he knew them, felt bad for them and declined to sign the complaints. 

Our sources say although cops believe the brothers purchased the rope that was around Jussie's neck after the incident, there is no surveillance video at the hardware store because it erases after a week.

We're told the way they tracked the 2 brothers down was by their movements in arriving and leaving the scene around Jussie's apartment building.  As we reported, they left in either a cab or an Uber, but we're told cops tracked the vehicle and the 2 brothers got out on their way home and into another vehicle.  As one source put it, "It was almost like a bad spy movie."

The sources say there were red flags from the get-go.  Cops were extremely suspicious when Jussie took them out to the area where he said he was attacked and pointed to an obscure camera saying how happy he was that the attack was on video.  Turns out the camera was pointing in the wrong direction.  Cops thought it was weird he knew the location of that camera.

Sequestering a witness before a grand jury hearing is unusual but not unexpected, given the potential for witness tampering by Smollett.  But why not just arrest Smollett and charge him?

The explosive political and racial atmosphere in Chicago is so volatile and the police so mistrusted in the black community that the district attorney probably feels it necessary to have a grand jury rather than his office indict Smollett.  The burden would then fall on the grand jury, who are not immune to pressure from the black community but, given the evidence already reported, would almost certainly recommend charges against Smollett and the two brothers.

Where before the police were being tight-lipped with the local press about the case, the revelations from the brothers about being paid to stage the attack have loosened a lot of tongues at police headquarters.  Care must be taken when evaluating what's being reported, but reporters who have worked the local crime beat for years seem convinced that Jussie Smollett planned and staged a hate crime attack.  The motive is unknown.  Fox is denying that Smollett was being written out of Empire

But whatever the reason why Smollett wanted to hoax the country, it surely isn't going to be worth his trouble.

While the Jussie Smollett "hate crime" fable continues to unravel, TMZ is reporting that the case will go before a grand jury next week.

Law enforcement sources connected to the investigation tell TMZ, the 2 brothers who were arrested and then released are staying somewhere around the Loop in downtown Chicago under the watchful eye of police so no one gets to them.  We're told cops especially want to make sure Jussie does not contact the brothers.

We're told when police raided the home of the 2 brothers they found magazines with pages torn out, and authorities are now trying to determine if the missing pages are connected to the threatening letter that was sent to Jussie 8 days before the alleged attack.

Our sources say early on they asked Jussie if he'd sign complaints against the 2 men who attacked him and he was clear that he would.  But, when he found out the 2 brothers were the ones in custody we're told he said he knew them, felt bad for them and declined to sign the complaints. 

Our sources say although cops believe the brothers purchased the rope that was around Jussie's neck after the incident, there is no surveillance video at the hardware store because it erases after a week.

We're told the way they tracked the 2 brothers down was by their movements in arriving and leaving the scene around Jussie's apartment building.  As we reported, they left in either a cab or an Uber, but we're told cops tracked the vehicle and the 2 brothers got out on their way home and into another vehicle.  As one source put it, "It was almost like a bad spy movie."

The sources say there were red flags from the get-go.  Cops were extremely suspicious when Jussie took them out to the area where he said he was attacked and pointed to an obscure camera saying how happy he was that the attack was on video.  Turns out the camera was pointing in the wrong direction.  Cops thought it was weird he knew the location of that camera.

Sequestering a witness before a grand jury hearing is unusual but not unexpected, given the potential for witness tampering by Smollett.  But why not just arrest Smollett and charge him?

The explosive political and racial atmosphere in Chicago is so volatile and the police so mistrusted in the black community that the district attorney probably feels it necessary to have a grand jury rather than his office indict Smollett.  The burden would then fall on the grand jury, who are not immune to pressure from the black community but, given the evidence already reported, would almost certainly recommend charges against Smollett and the two brothers.

Where before the police were being tight-lipped with the local press about the case, the revelations from the brothers about being paid to stage the attack have loosened a lot of tongues at police headquarters.  Care must be taken when evaluating what's being reported, but reporters who have worked the local crime beat for years seem convinced that Jussie Smollett planned and staged a hate crime attack.  The motive is unknown.  Fox is denying that Smollett was being written out of Empire

But whatever the reason why Smollett wanted to hoax the country, it surely isn't going to be worth his trouble.