Jesse Sma, Chicago, Ryan Burrow discussed on Lance McAlister
When this story first broke, you're thinking, this is one of the most horrific things that you heard when the actor jussie smollet from empire records was attacked by a couple of different men. They were saying there were arrests made. And then all of a sudden, you know, story started changing. And then, you know, the police basically said now he's no longer maybe being looked at as a victim. But according to his lawyer, they're standing by that cooperating with police so to help us out with this. Ryan burrow, ABC news. Chicago Ryan, are you there, sir? You know, what we're learning right now is that the Chicago police urgently want to speak with Jesse smell at they've been interrogating. These two men one of which was a personal trainer of Jesse Sma, latch and one of which worked on the empire set. And they they talked with him and interrogated them after rating their home, and apparently what law enforcement sources are telling ABC news is these men admitted that they purchased the rope that was used in the attack and that they staged this attack. And we're paid by Jesse to do. So now does that mean that happened? No means that they wanna talk with Jesse now. But it's interesting to point out that police who to that point had been considering Jesse the victim were asked again, do you consider him to be the victim? And we got the dreaded no comment. So obviously, they want to corroborate those stories they want to get him back into a room to talk with detectives and really try to hammer through what what went on that day. Now when. This story, I broke I lived in Chicago for part of for college mostly. And I knew there was nobody wearing maga- hats down by where this happened like dangerous thing to automatically set. Something off in me where I was like, wait, not the Lincoln. Maybe maybe Evanston, not there. So and it was two degrees below zero outside. You know? I mean, there were a lot of things that you thought to yourself something something doesn't seem right. And that's what it's made. It very frustrating for Jesse because he says I'm a victim here. And yet, no one believes me, you know. And and and it's made it frustrating for a lot of people because they want to get down to the heart of this. And and see why this what makes sense out of all of this. And that's what police have been trying to figure out. Now is there some liberty to the rumor that he actually made the payment at a ravens would bar in Chicago to these two men because I've seen that on the internet has that been confirmed not not by police? The only thing that ABC has from police sources and not officially from CPI is that they do they have obtained some kind of receipt when it comes to the the rope itself. Who's who writes a receipt for a minute? Okay. Right for for wanted to find out where they wanted to find out where it was purchased. Obviously that's part of the investigation. They found out that it was a hardware store on the near north side. You know, and and they they apparently learned a lot because these two men who were considered potential suspects going into interrogation. We're released on Friday nights. And we're basically told you know, we'll we'll contract you don't contact us. And you know, that was very interesting, and from what law enforcement sources have told us to is that, you know, they they basically laid it down for these guys. We we know you were there. We know that there was involvement in some form involving you. And we weaken charge you with eight crimes, we can charge you with battery and at that point to the interrogation seem to make some kind of jump or change the trajectory. I should say is it's the way police have phrased at Ryan burrow, ABC news, Chicago now when the story started going this way, I guess. As far as you know, the internet everything on there's one hundred percent true. They were basically saying the reason he hired these guys to do. This was his fear of being maybe written off the show of empire. That that was something that came off. You know, we we can't confirm that right honest with you at the end of the week last week FOX said he's a core member of our team. And that is nothing could be further from the truth. And now, by the way with knowing that one of these men who police questioned was a member of this show. They said no comment so far. Wonder? That's telling or they're just waiting to see how this all plays out. Now is there any validity to also the rumor that these two men were trying to leave the country? Well, then did leave the country, according to police immediately after the attack demand we're on a flight to Nigeria and then they came back last Wednesday when they arrived last Wednesday police are waiting for them at the airport. So you remember me we as reporters, we we didn't know what was going on at this point. They had an identified these two member police knew the whole time who these men were. And they have not backed down that these too many in the photo were the man that David Jerry gated demand that they picked up. So obviously police knew quite a bit more than than what's you know, they were leading on in those in those days before the supposed- arrest. Do we have any idea how soon after the attack because obviously Jesse gave them descriptions that weren't accurate how soon after the attack did the police realize these were the two men that actually participate in the incident. I'm sorry. I I kind of broke up there. I I one more time how soon after the attack did the police realize these were the two guys they're actually participate in the we we don't know. You know, it's interesting because those images we're so grainy, right? I mean, we couldn't tell the race involved. We couldn't we couldn't really tell anything. So, you know, I I don't exactly know the way that they found out they found these men actually was based on ridesharing records that they had who is being dropped off Mary who is being area. So that's some good old fashioned copying right there. But yeah, that's that's our understanding of how this game to be. So this all fell apart based on Uber receipt. It sounds like. I come documentation. Yeah. And it's such a such a horrific thing that when you first read about this story, and it first came out. You're just like oh my God. This is absolutely terrible. But it seems like it didn't take that long for this story to start unraveling just falling apart and going against Jesse. Yeah. And we'll we'll see you kind of where this goes from here. You know, obviously demand when they're talking to police said one thing, and this will probably end up being they said versus he said situation, at least that's the way it's setting up in our understanding of it right now. And you know, police are gonna have to sift through that and figure out what that means. All right. Ryan burrow, Chicago ABC news. Thank you so much take. I'd have a good day at the end of the day. This can't spin in any way, shape or form because I don't think anything is gonna get decided as far as when it comes down to a he said, she said thing like all those guys have to do is stick to like, hey, this guy paid us to attack them and Jessie s to do is just stick to the. No, that's not what happened. They attacked me. So. At the end of the day. I don't even see how this gets settled in how he's not looked at in a different light. While if it according to TMZ. Yellow journalism. But they there are witnesses. Now say they've seen Jesse handoff money to these guys at this bar. So when that when the police come forward because obviously the police note that they're just not up. All right. So one when they come forward and say, yes, this did happen. Who knows what they know? They pro-. They obviously know a lot more than TMZ. But that's going to be wink. It's really interesting. Do you think it gets to a point where jussie smollet is literally like he's pinned to a wall with all the evidence going against him. Do you think he ever ever admits that okay? I did do it. Or do you think he's just like no this really happened like to try and save face? I think the only way out is if he says, I was so worried about losing my job. These are the pressures of Hollywood. Yeah. That could be his way out like as as a as an African American as a gay. I felt like I was being maybe targeted to get written off the show, right? These extreme measures in order to kind of assure that I would still be on the show. I would still be relevant. He might be able to get away with that. But other than that. I don't know how he's going to get at the end of the day, though, empire will probably benefit from this because people will start tuning.