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Chicago ‘Vindicated’ After Jussie Smollett Sentenced For ‘Malicious’ Hoax Hate Crime, Mayor Says

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) claimed triumph on Thursday after actor Jussie Smollett was sentenced to jail and fined tens of thousands of dollars for reporting a hoax hate crime in 2019.

Judge James Linn sentenced Smollett to 150 days in jail along with 30 months on felony probation on Thursday. The former “Empire” actor must pay $120,000 in restitution to Chicago and a $25,000 fine. Smollett will serve his sentence in the Cook County Jail.

“The criminal conviction of Jussie Smollett by a jury of his peers and today’s sentencing should send a clear message to everyone in the City of Chicago that false claims and allegations will not be tolerated,” Lightfoot said in a statement.

“The malicious and wholly fabricated claim made by Mr. Smollett resulted in over 1500 hours of police work that cost the City over $130,000 in police overtime,” she continued. “The City feels vindicated in today’s ruling that he is being held accountable and that we will appropriately receive restitution for his actions.”

After hearing his sentence, Smollett exclaimed that he is “not suicidal” before being escorted out of the court.

“I would just like to say, your honor, that I am not suicidal,” Smollett said. “I am not suicidal. I am not suicidal. I am innocent and I am not suicidal.”

“If I did this, then it means that I stuck my fist in the fears of black Americans in this country for over 400 years and the fears of the LGBTQ community. Your Honor, I respect you and I respect the jury, but I did not do this and I am not suicidal. If anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself. And you must all know that,” he continued.

“I respect you, your honor. I respect your decision. Jail time,” he said shaking his head, “I am not suicidal.”

The Cook County Sheriff’s office said that Smollett “will be given a comprehensive medical, mental health, and security assessment and will be placed in appropriate housing” in response to the actor’s outburst.

“Per jail protocol, Mr. Smollett will be tested for COVID-19 upon intake and will be offered vaccination if he has not previously been vaccinated for the virus, or the booster shot if he has already been vaccinated,” the sheriff added. “Currently, out of the more than 6,000 individuals ordered into custody at the jail, just 12 are positive for COVID-19 – all of whom were identified as positive during the intake process.”

In December, a jury convicted Smollett on five counts of felony disorderly conduct for making false reports over a January 2019 incident in which the actor claimed to be the victim of a hate crime. He told police that two men attacked him just after 2 a.m. outside of a Subway, tossing a noose around his neck and throwing an unknown substance on him. The two men were later identified as acquaintances of Smollett and said the actor had paid them to stage the hoax attack.

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