Jussie Smollett news: Bodycam video shows the actor being taken into custody at Cook County Jail following his sentencing
There are video and audio recordings of it all. A sheriff’s deputy is heard reassuring Smollett that he is “in good hands.”
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Authorities made the unusual decision after Smollett suggested he might not be safe in jail.
After Smollett was sentenced on March 10, he shouted, “I’m not suicidal!” His outburst was heard by millions, but what happened next is only visible now.
A team of sheriff’s deputies escorted Smollett to jail. Video and audio from a pair of body-worn cameras show what looks like the opening scene of a prison movie.
The I-Team obtained the video as part of a filing under the Freedom of Information Act. Minutes from his 150-day sentence for lying about a hate crime he invented and staged, Smollett is searched and then led through a long tunnel between court and jail, by deputies who say they do it on occasion.
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“Mr. Smollett, we are the ERT team, the emergency response team, we take care of all the top guys, we took care of R. Kelly when he was here,” said a deputy.
“The fact that he has made false accusations against people in the past and that he is a high profile target, those two elements of the situation would have, I think, documented this type of video and audio recording of events” , former deputy U.S. Marshal Ed. Farrell told I-Team.
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Farrell has arrested hundreds of suspects and says it’s important to have a record of how Smollett was treated.
“You’re documenting both sides, audio and visual, which gives a better record for the audience to make sure they have transparency with what happened,” Farrell said.
At one point, the entourage guarding Smollett stops and orders the oncoming employees to get out of the way. The video ends in a cell as Smollett receives his prison wardrobe.
The use of body cameras to record prisoner transports is not typical. A Cook County Sheriff’s spokesperson said they were using appropriate security measures, suggesting the cameras were in order for Smollett.
In Lake County, Illinois, prison officials say fixed cameras are used in certain areas, but body cameras are only activated in very specific situations, including medical emergencies or non- compliance.
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