Publisher's note: This informational nugget was sent to me by Ben Shapiro, who represents the Daily Wire, and since this is one of the most topical news events, it should be published on BCN.
The author of this post is James Barrett.
Abel and Ola Osundairo briefly shook up the City of Chicago's case against Jussie Smollett this week after announcing Wednesday that they were no longer willing to cooperate with investigators working on the high-profile "hoax hate crime" case. But in a statement released by their attorney the next day, the brothers, who say that Smollett paid them to stage the attack on the former "Empire" star, said they are now back on board with the investigation after the "intervention" of the special prosecutor.
Wednesday, the Osundairo brothers gave law enforcement an ultimatum: stop treating them as if they are still suspects in the case rather than witnesses by giving them back their confiscated private property, including a legally owned handgun. If police fail to do so, they will no longer testify against Smollett for "orchestrating" a staged attack last year, as officials concluded after a widely reported investigation.
"It's been over a year and they need to give us our stuff back,"
Abel told CBS Chicago
Wednesday in reference to the police confiscating some of their private property in the course of the investigation. "I would understand if we were defendants in the case, which we are not."
"Police raided the Osundairos' home on Valentine's Day last year while the brothers were in Nigeria,"
The Daily Wire reported
. "At the time, the brothers were suspected of launching a racist and homophobic attack on Smollett. Police later dropped charges against the brothers and now say that the actor paid each brother $3,500 to stage the incident."
The items obtained in the raid, including a legally obtained 9mm gun and ammunition, have continued to be held by police as evidence for the ongoing case, but police recently indicated that the gun was missing. "Legally, it belongs to me, and I want to know its whereabouts,"
Abel told CBS.
A day after the brothers' threatened to stop cooperating with the investigation, their attorney released a statement
announcing that they are back on board, citing the "intervention" of the special prosecutor.
"Due to the intervention of Special Prosecutor Dan Webb and his team, earlier today we were informed that a properly registered 9mm handgun that was missing from a locked safe seized by the Chicago Police Department on February 14, 2019, has been located,"
their lawyer, Gloria Schmidt Rodriguez, said in the statement.
"The missing gun was a reason for Abel and Ola's decision to cease voluntary cooperation, in addition to the unnecessary complication brought to this situation by CPD's Corporate Counsel in treating them like suspects,"
said the lawyer. "Abel and Ola will recommence their cooperation in the Smollett case now that the handgun has been produced by the Special Prosecutor's office."
In January 2019, Smollett reported an alleged hate crime to police, claiming two white men attacked him in downtown Chicago at around 2 a.m., doused him in an unknown liquid, and hung a "noose "around his neck. Police quickly zeroed in on two suspects, who turned out to be the Osundairo brothers, and brought them in for questioning. A couple of days later, Chicago Police Department Communications Chief Anthony Guglielmi announced
that the brothers were no longer suspects.
"Due to new evidence as a result of today's interrogations, the individuals questioned by police in the Empire case have now been released without charging and detectives have additional investigative work to complete,"
said Guglielmi. The brothers told the police that Smollett paid them to stage the attack and police say evidence overwhelmingly confirms their account.
The initial 16 charges for filing false police reports against Smollett were infamously dropped by the Cook County prosecutor's office last year, with Smollett simply agreeing to forfeit his $10,000 bond and perform some community service, and without Smollett being required to admit any guilt. In response, the city sued Smollett in April 2019 for $130,000 in wasted resources for the investigation into what officials maintain was a hoax.