On Wednesday, former Empire star Jussie Smollett made an appearance on author and activist Marc Lamont Hill’s Instagram Live to once again claim his innocence regarding the current criminal case against him by the city of Chicago.
Smollett is accused of staging a hate crime against himself in the earlier part of 2019.
Prior to Smollett’s interview with Hill, co-founder of Chicago’s Black Lives Matter Movement, Aislinn Pulley, and Civil Rights activist and prison abolitionist Angela Davis expressed their support for the actor with Hill.
Davis penned an open letter of solidarity, which was also endorsed by activists Danny Glover and Lisa Hamilton.
“I don’t think that we have extricated ourselves from all of the influences of law and order rhetoric even though so many of us are involved in campaigns against the police. The police still remains this major arbiter of what is right and wrong,” said Davis, during her interview with Hill, in Smollett’s defense. “How do we liberate ourselves from the ideological hold of the police?”
Smollett was fired from Fox’s hit show “Empire” as a result of the incident, and he has since laid relatively low. According to the Vulture, Smollett has described the situation as being “beyond frustrating.”
“Sometimes I wake up in the morning, and I am so angry, but other times if I squint real hard, I can see the silver lining,” said Smollett.
Hill referenced a recent development in Smollett’s case, which involved the city of Chicago requesting that the FBI hand over records of its probe into the actor’s case. Smollett’s lawyers filed a motion against his current indictment, which is set to be heard on September 10.
“There’s a chance this could all be over tomorrow,” Hill said to Smollett during the interview.
But Smollett was less optimistic, and responded with, “If I’m being completely honest, no, I don’t think that … They won’t let this go. You know what I’m saying? They won’t let this go. It doesn’t matter … The sad part is that there is an example being made of someone who did not do what they’re being accused of.”