The investigation into the hate crime reported by Jussie Smollett in 2019 cost the city of Chicago quite a penny.
At the time, the actor informed the police that he was attacked by two men because of his identity as a gay black man. On Thursday, he was convicted of lying to police and depicting the attack as a hoax.
After the “Empire” student reported the attack, Chicago police launched an investigation into the incident that ultimately cost $ 130,000.
The massive price tag came from a comprehensive 3,000-hour investigation that, in part, saw authorities review hundreds of hours of surveillance footage, none of which captured an attack on the actor.
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In addition, the investigation included the tracking and arrest of the Osundairo brothers, who were initially believed by the police to be responsible. They were questioned and their apartment was searched.
After 48 hours, the brothers were released and their suspect status was removed. Police said their investigation had “changed” after speaking with the brothers and they requested a follow-up interview with Smollett.
In late February 2019, police found sufficient evidence to claim that Smollett lied to them and prosecutors charged him with disorderly conduct.
Later, a jury issued a 16-count indictment accusing Smollett of falsely reporting a crime, but not long after, the singer’s attorney revealed that the charges had been dropped.
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However, the city of Chicago asked Smollett to pay the $ 130,000.
Once some of the charges were reinstated, attorney Dan Webb was assigned to the case as a special counsel. Following Thursday’s verdict announcement, he shared that investigators spend “3,000 hours of time” on the case, which cost “the city more than $ 100,000.”
He shared that a detective said that “he was working 36 hours without sleep and also other police officers because they had to trudge through these communities and get doorbells that these cameras had.”
He also revealed that his work as a special prosecutor cost him the “zero” count as he took on the pro bono case “to help reestablish that mistrust in the criminal justice system.”
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“When I told the judge [Michael P.] Toomin would [take on the case]”I spoke with my law firm and we made the decision: If you are going to do this, do it for the public,” he said.
Webb said it took him “four months of work” to find “overwhelming” evidence that Smollett should be prosecuted again.
Gloria Rodríguez, a lawyer for the Osundairo brothers, praised Webb and his team for taking the case pro bono, saying they “deserve so much credit” for the guilty verdict.
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“The hours they put into this case would amaze you. The preparation they had to go through,” he continued on Thursday. “… Anniversaries were missed, recitals were missed so that we were prepared and ready to go this final week of trial. So to the special counsel’s office, my clients and I personally thank you for taking us to the finish line . “
The Associated Press contributed to this report.