Two law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation told CNN that Chicago Police believe Jussie Smollett paid two men to orchestrate the assault.
The brothers, who were arrested Wednesday, were released without charges Friday after Chicago police cited the discovery of “new evidence.” The sources told CNN that the two men are now cooperating fully with law enforcement.
The sources told CNN that there are records that show the two brothers purchased the rope found around Smollett’s neck at an Ace Hardware store in Chicago.
#Breaking: 2 #CPD sources tell @fox32news the brothers arrested & released in #JussieSmollett case told detectives they were paid by the #Empire actor to orchestrate the attack. Detectives also have a receipt for the rope found on #Smollett neck showing the brothers bought it.
— Rafer Weigel (@RaferWeigel) February 17, 2019
Chicago police tell @ABC detectives are eager to speak to Jussie Smollett again urgently. “We have been in touch with Smollett’s attorneys. We contacted his attorneys last night. We made our intentions clear.”
— Rob Elgas (@RobElgasABC7) February 17, 2019
— Page Six (@PageSix) February 16, 2019
So many hate crimes, so much racism & homophobia in America right now…If true, I can think of few things more damaging to actual victims of hate crimes being believed, than staging a crime. When one person lies, it hurts those telling the truth. This is plain crazy.
— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) February 17, 2019