The men who claim they were paid to attack Jussie Smollett have declined to testify against him because police have refused to return their property.
Brothers Abel Osundario and Ola Osundario say Empire’s Smollett paid them $3,500 to stage a racist and homophobic attack on the actor back in 2019. Afterward, the men began working with law enforcement to give more information about the validity of Smollett’s attack. Fox News reports that the men initially agreed to testify against Smollett but have now changed their mind partially due to police seizing their belongings as evidence more than a year ago.
In a statement to CBS 2 Chicago, the brothers’ lawyer, Gloria Schmidt Rodriguez, explained that her clients decided against testifying because the Chicago Police Department is allegedly holding on to some of the items officers seized from their home on in Feb. 2019. “It’s been over a year, and they need to give us our stuff back. I would understand if we were defendants in the case, which we are not,” said Abel to CBS 2.
In response to the police withholding their items, Abel decided to file a police report, and now the brothers are in an ongoing administrative dispute with the department. The outlet reports that officers still have a weapon which they say is being kept as evidence; however, police say they will go along with a judge’s order to hand over any evidence.
What was at first, a tragic event turned into what the country feels is the scam of a lifetime. Smollett ended up being cleared of 16 counts of disorderly conduct following the unraveling of an alleged homophobic and racist attack on the actor, who is Black and gay. However, just months later, the actor was once against hit with six felony counts in the alleged fake attack. Smollett maintains that he is innocent and that he did not plot the attack against him.