Y’all, Chicago is not playing when it comes to the Jussie Smollett case. Just when we sort of forgot about his drama and court issues (just me? Anyone else?), a new story pops up in this new year to remind us that it isn’t over yet.
This time, a Cook County judge has signed two major search warrants requiring Google to turn over Jussie’s emails, location data, photos, and private messages from an entire year leading up to and after the attack.
It’s not just sent data, either. Any drafted-but-deleted messages, anything stored in the Google Drive suite, and all Google Voice texts, calls, and contacts will be collected. Even his browsing data (yikes) isn’t safe, and will soon be in the hands of the courts.
If you thought that this was over and Jussie Smollett was going to fade into obscurity, you’re not alone. At the end of March, the Chicago PD dropped all charges against Smollett, who was accused of some pretty heavy crimes.
It gets worse. Chicago PD was also accused of grossly mishandling the case and leaking sensitive information to the press, which is… kind of a big deal when you’re a police department.
An internal investigation was launched, and we all thought that the Smollett case had come to a close.
The warrants are looking for all his data between November 2018 and November 2019, but the case was dismissed at the end of March. What the courts are hoping to find is some indication that Smollett was “celebrating” his victory with his management team or friends, showing that he had, in fact, staged the attack.
In case you can’t recall, Smollett got into a heap of trouble after claiming he was attacked on the street. He claimed it was because he was gay and black that he was targeted, and thus he was the victim of a hate crime. Let’s clear the air: Hate crimes are never okay.
But then the Chicago PD called BS on his story, and a lot of damning evidence came to light. Video evidence of Smollett talking to the alleged attackers surfaced, and there were some questionable conversations had.
Charges against Smollett were ultimately dropped, but no one is really sure what actually happened that night. No one except Smollett, apparently – and perhaps us, once we see what the Chicago Police Department does with this data.
While the Chicago Tribune just broke the story now, the warrants were signed at the beginning of December for the release of Smollett’s information. There has been no indication that they have anything of Smollett’s from Google yet, however.
While a Chicago spokesman has confirmed that the department is working with a special prosecutor on the case, there is no further comment on what that means or what they aim to achieve.
Will Smollett see the inside of a jail cell this year? Who knows. But maybe we’ll be able to discover exactly what happened that night, one way or the other.