Behind the Scenes, It’s Clear Chicago Media and Police Doubt Jussie Smollett’s Story

“Near unanimity” among cops it’s a no-go.

I can’t recall a large crime story where there was a bigger gap between what the police and media are saying publicly, and what they expressing behind the scenes, than the saga involving the recent alleged hate crime against actor Jussie Smollett. Similarly, there may not be a story where you can tell more by what has not happened, in comparison to what actually has occurred.

Behind the scenes, however, based on conversations I have had with multiple people covering the story, there is a radically different take on what really did happen to Smollett. In short, there is near unanimity among police sources that Smollett’s story is very likely not true. And that even the media outlets still regurgitating the current “party line” don’t really believe it.

Later: The phone information was given to cops, but that’s a no-go so far.

. . . police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said on Monday that Smollett, 36, had not given enough proof that he was talking to [his manager] Brandon Z. Moore when he was jumped on January 29. ‘We continue to investigate but the records are insufficient to corroborate some of the information.

‘We appreciate the cooperation but will be following up for some additional data,’ Guglielmi told DailyMail.com.

What did they give to the cops?

TMZ reports that Smollett gave a redacted, PDF print-out of a bill but police would not confirm that detail on Tuesday morning.

They also would not confirm whether or not they planned to ask the cell phone company for the records they say he is withholding.

It comes a day after Smollett’s representative hit out at the department for revealing that he had not, until yesterday morning, handed over any phone records to support his story.

Later yet: Chi Trib has confirmed it:

Chicago police on Monday confirmed that representatives for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett had turned over phone records nearly two weeks after he reported being assaulted by two strangers near his Streeterville apartment.

But a spokesman for police Superintendent Eddie Johnson by late evening said that the records “are not sufficient and do not meet the burden of a criminal investigation,” and that police may require more assistance from the actor.

The New York Post’s “Page Six” column first reported that phone records for Smollett and his manager, whom he told authorities he was speaking with during the attack, were turned over to Johnson’s chief of staff on Monday.

Investigators had sought Smollett’s phone records since shortly after he reported the attack Jan. 29 in the 300 block of East North Water Street.

But police described Smollett’s phone records as a heavily redacted document file and his manager’s records as a screenshot of phone calls that provide limited information to investigators. Chief police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said police were “appreciative” of Smollett’s cooperation in providing the records but said detectives will likely need additional data from Smollett to crack the case.

A representative for Smollett wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Whole thing very dramatic, I’d say.

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