Black Lives Matter praises Jussie Smollett as hoax crime trial nears conclusion

The organization's director, Melina Abdullah, shared remarks supporting the actor as jurors decide his fate.

Black Lives Matter praises Jussie Smollett as hoax crime trial nears conclusion
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
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The director of Black Lives Matter, Melina Abdullah, praised disgraced actor Jussie Smollett while he is on trial for filing a false report of hate crime with the police.

In January 2019, Smollett told police he was attacked by two men who tied a noose around his neck and poured bleach on him while using racial and homophobic slurs. He told police that the men reportedly said “This is MAGA country.” Smollett claims to have fought them off.

As the press ran multiple stories over the alleged hate crime, Smollett saw an outpouring of support from numerous celebrities and politicians, including Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Details of his allegations came apart at the seams after police found that the two men involved were a pair of Nigerians who were close associates of the “Empire” actor. Other details did not hold up to scrutiny.

A year later, following further investigation by a special prosecutor, Smollett was indicted by a Cook County grand jury on six counts of making false police reports.

In a statement on social media, BLM director Melina Abdullah remarked that as the Smollett trial comes to a close, “we must courageously love and protect one another and always remember that POLICE LIE."

“We love you Jussie!,” said Abdullah.

Abdullah linked to a statement on the official Black Lives Matter website regarding the ongoing trial, which they referred to as a “white supremacist charade.” The organization says that it believes the claims Smollett made, and refers to him as someone who has been “vocal in the struggle for Black freedom.”

Declaring the organization’s full support for Smollett, BLM stated that in an “abolitionist society,” the trial of Jussie Smollett would not even be taking place “and our communities would not have to fight and suffer to prove our worth.”

“Instead, we find ourselves, once again, being forced to put our lives and our value in the hands of judges and juries operating in a system that is designed to oppress us, while continuing to face a corrupt and violent police department, which has proven time and again to have no respect for our lives,” the letter continued.

“In our commitment to abolition, we can never believe police, especially the Chicago Police Department (CPD) over Jussie Smollett, a Black man who has been courageously present, visible, and vocal in the struggle for Black freedom,” Black Lives Matter stated.

“While policing at-large is an irredeemable institution, CPD is notorious for its long and deep history of corruption, racism, and brutality,” the statement continued. “From the murders of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, to the Burge tortures, to the murder of Laquan McDonald and subsequent cover-up, to the hundreds of others killed by Chicago police over the years and the thousands who survived abuse, Chicago police consistently demonstrate that they are among the worst of the worst. Police lie and Chicago police lie especially.”

On social media, liberal commentators criticized the Black Lives Matter statement. Their remarks were largely driven by the preponderance of evidence against Smollett, which makes the case for the police.

Smollett’s charges largely came about due to the amount of time Chicago police had to expend in investigating the hoax while other cases fell by the wayside.

Democrat activist and journalist Judd Legum said, “The evidence against Smollett is overwhelming and I don't believe defending him does anything to advance the BLM movement.”

“Smollett is accused of filing a false report of a hate crime with the police. This both weaponizes the police and makes it more difficult for the many real victims of hate crimes to be believed,” he added.

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