Chicago Police are investigating their own officers over reports that they leaked information about the Jussie Smollett case

  • The Chicago Police Department is investigating its own officers over reports that officers leaked information about the Jussie Smollett case.
  • “Empire” actor Smollett claimed in January to be a victim of a racial and homophobic attack in January. Chicago PD charged him with making a false police report about a month later.
  • While investigations were ongoing multiple news outlets published information about the case that were unconfirmed by police. The outlets cited anonymous sources familiar with the case.
  • Sergeant Rocco Alioto told reporters that it was “standard procedure” to open an internal investigation “when there are allegations of information being leaked.”

The Chicago Police Department has launched an internal investigation into officers probing actor Jussie Smollett’s claim of being victim of a racial attack earlier this year, due to reports that the police had leaked information about the case while it was ongoing.

Sergeant Rocco Alioto, a Chicago PD spokesman, told reporters on Thursday: “As a standard procedure when there are allegations of information being leaked, an internal investigation has been opened and we are also looking at our vulnerabilities.”

“I would like to point out that a lot of the information out there was inaccurate and there were numerous agencies involved in this investigation,” he added.

Jussie smollettInvision/Willie Sanjuan via Associated PressIn this Aug. 8, 2017 file photo, Jussie Smollett participates in the ‘Empire’ panel during the FOX Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills.

Smollett, who starred in “Empire,” told police in January that he was attacked by two masked men who beat him, made racist and derogatory comments, and then put a noose around his neck.

But police found inconsistencies in Smollett’s account, and on February 21 charged him with making a false police report. Officers accused him of making up the attack as a “publicity stunt” to get a bigger salary.


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Chicago police eddie johnsonChicago Sun-Times/Ashlee Rezin via Associated PressChicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson speaks during a press conference at CPD headquarters, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, in Chicago, after actor Jussie Smollett turned himself in on charges of disorderly conduct and filing a false police report.

While investigations were ongoing, multiple US outlets published information about Smollett’s case that were unconfirmed by Chicago PD, citing anonymous sources familiar with the investigation instead.

Smollett is due to appear in court again March 14.

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