Jussie Smollett is invoking the country-wide protests and the death of George Floyd in his ongoing legal battle with the City of Chicago.
In new legal documents obtained by TMZ, the former "Empire" star argues that police are lying about his case and the city is helping to cover it up.
"As we see millions across the country rise up to protest and expose police misconduct, the City, by its refusal to produce the requested documents, is choosing to actively resist a citizen's lawful efforts to reveal dishonesty," Jussie says in the new documents.
While Jussie continues to maintain that he was the victim of a hate crime in early January 2019, police and others had their doubts, and on Feb. 21, 2019, the actor was arrested after local authorities alleged that he staged the attack with the help of two men.
He was later charged with 16 felonies, to which he pleaded not guilty. Then, a month later, the criminal case against him — for allegedly lying to police about an alleged racial and homophobic attack — was dropped. However, in February 2020, Jussie was indicted by a special prosecutor in Illinois on six counts of lying to police.
In the midst of this, the City of Chicago filed a civil suit against Jussie, claiming his assault claim — which the city thinks was an orchestrated hoax — cost $130,000 in city resources, and it wants the actor to pay up.
In his new argument, Jussie is requesting documents pertaining to former Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson's termination, arguing that factors of his firing could be relevant in his case. The city has opposed the request.
"The City and CPD knew Mr. Smollett was innocent, and that the City has relentlessly pursued Mr. Smollett even after the charges against Mr. Smollett were dismissed," the court documents state.