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Chicago Police Release 911 Call from the Night Jussie Smollett Claimed He Was Attacked


Chicago Police have released audio of the 911 call made by the individual who first reported that Empire actor Jussie Smollett had been the victim of a racist, homophobic assault after leaving a Subway restaurant in the Windy City.

It was Smollett’s manager Frank Gatson who made a call at 2:22 a.m., in which he resisted identifying Smollett. Smollett claimed he was attacked 20 minutes before.

“I just need the police to come by. I work for an artist. I don’t really want to say his name,” Gatson told a 911 dispatcher. “He states he went to Subway … and two guys —somebody jumped him or something like that. I just want to report it and make sure he’s alright.”

Gatson would say Smollett “was cool” and “didn’t want me to call you guys.” The dispatcher said that Smollett had to report the alleged crime, not Gatson.

“He’s definitely gonna make the report. I’m gonna make him make the report,” Gatson replied. Then came the detail about the noose.

Recall: Smollett claimed that he was doused with a bleach-like substance, subjected to racist and homophobic slurs, and attacked with a noose. The two attackers, it was claimed, yelled “This is MAGA country.”

On the call, Gatson described Smollett as “startled.”

“I just think he’s startled. I’m scared and I don’t know what it is. They put a noose around his neck. They didn’t do anything with it, but put it around his neck. That’s pretty fucked up to me. Sorry for saying it like that,” he said.

Chicago Police recently released hundreds of documents related to the Smollett case (read them here).

One of the documents showed that on Feb. 13, police interviewed Abel and Ola Osundairo. They were identified as two persons of interest in the case; they eventually flipped on Smollett. On Feb. 13, they said Smollett planned and staged the attack. The very next day, Feb. 14, Smollett’s full interview on Good Morning America about the alleged attack aired. Smollett said he was “pissed off” about the “attackers” and about those doubting his story.

“It’s like, you know, at first, it was a thing of, like, ‘Listen, if I tell the truth then that’s it, ’cause it’s the truth.’ Then it became a thing of like, ‘Oh, how can you doubt that?’ Like, how do you– how do you not believe that? It’s the truth,” he said. “And then it became a thing of like, ‘Oh, it’s not necessarily that you don’t believe that this is the truth, you don’t even want to see the truth.'”

After the Osundairo brothers flipped, Smollett was hit with 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false report. Despite that, Cook County prosecutors shockingly decided to drop those charges. Smollett merely forfeited his bond and was required to do community service.

[Image via Nuccio DiNuzzo-USA TODAY Sports]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.