The Jussie Smollett story just won’t go away. He’s been arrested, charged, and released on bond. He’s also professing his innocence, which is his right to do. But is he believable? That’s a different story!

In last week’s column, I mentioned that his story didn’t pass my sniff test. Two people attacking him and shouting, “This is MAGA country” just doesn’t sound like Chicago.  Also for the attack to end without cause, didn’t sound right either. His repeated insistence that he fought back sounded convenient. In the GMA interview, Robin Roberts showed him a copy of that grainy photo of two people walking in the area. She asked Jussie if he thought they were the ones? And without hesitation he identifies them as his attackers because of their body sizes. Which leads me to this question. If the police had brought in two white suspects, would Jussie have looked at them and said yes they were the ones? Would he be willing to send two innocent people to jail just to substantiate his claims? Had this been warmer weather, could this have set off retaliation attacks? And just how far was he willing to go with this story? Was this really a scenario put into place to boost his salary or to promote his sexuality? Those answers and more can only be addressed once this case comes to a judicial conclusion.

A lot of people on social media after the police press conference immediately began to jump on CPD for not only the number of detectives that had been assigned to this case, but for CPD having solved this alleged crime while not solving a plethora of others.  Interestingly at the same time, people are not acknowledging that solving this alleged hate crime was easy because of the numerous cameras systems (both public and private) in the area. The police actually had people volunteering their camera footage to them, as opposed to the police meeting a wall of silence. Imagine if the black community had such resources?

Back in 2015, I wrote a column that said, in essence, more cameras can help make identifying the criminals easier. I do not see cameras necessarily as a crime prevention tool. But when the criminal element wants to hide their identity by everyone wearing white T-shirts and blue jeans, the camera can capture the image of the perpetrators and their specific mannerisms thus making them easy to identify. Cameras can fight crime without us having to add on the cost of additional police officers. 

Also, maintaining a camera system should be a tax deduction on our property taxes. A smart politician should come up with a plan to ease the burden on taxpayers while solving an issue that initially seems unsolvable: How to catch criminals cheaper.

What is the long-term solution to solving the unsolved murders that have occurred here in Chicago? Will the Smollett case make people more willing to work with the police now? The reality is that the police cannot solve a crime where they don’t have a clue. Superintendent Johnson is to be applauded for criticizing the media for not putting as much attention on the murder cases as they did on the Smollett case. And maybe that might be part of the solution. Pick a case, any case, like the one of the missing pregnant postal worker, and let’s focus on it until it is solved. 

Let’s be reactive by being proactive!