Jussie Smollett placed in psychiatric ward at Cook County Jail, family says – NBC Chicago
Actor Jussie Smollett has been moved to a psychiatric ward at Cook County Jail, his brother announced on Instagram, days after Smollett was convicted of staging a hate crime and lying to police.
In a video posted to Instagram on Sunday afternoon, the actor’s brother, Jocqui Smollett, said a note attached to Smollett’s documents said he was at risk of self-harm and had been transferred to a psychiatric unit.
Jocqui Smollett disagreed with the move, calling the reported placement “outrage” and a “lack of justice”.
“I just want to make it clear to people, he’s not at risk of self-harm in any way,” Jocqui Smollett said. “He’s very stable, he’s very strong, he’s very healthy and ready for the challenge that’s finally been given to him.”
A judge on Thursday sentenced Smollett to 150 days in the Cook County Jail following his conviction for lying to police about being the victim of a hoax hate crime in 2019.
He began his sentence immediately after learning of his fate on Thursday.
On Friday, as expected, the actor’s defense attorneys filed a notice of appeal in Cook County Criminal Court along with an emergency injunction seeking the actor’s release.
An appeals court judge ruled that prosecutors had five days to respond to the emergency motion.
The criminal case made international headlines when Smollett, who is black and gay, reported to police that two men wearing ski masks beat him and hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him in a dark street from Chicago and fled.
In December, Smollett was found guilty in a trial that included testimony from two brothers who told jurors that Smollett paid them to carry out the attack, gave them money for ski masks and rope, asked them to shape the rope into a slipknot. Prosecutors said he told them what racist and homophobic slurs to yell and yell that Smollett was in “MAGA Country,” a reference to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign slogan.
During his sentencing, Smollett was permitted to make a statement, but chose not to on the advice of an attorney, citing a potential appeal in the case.
But right after the judge read the sentence, Smollett addressed the court and again denied any wrongdoing in the case.
“If I did that, it means I stuck my fist into the fears of black Americans in this country for over 400 years and the fears of the LGBT community,” Smollett said, standing at the table in the defense while his attorneys and the sheriff “Your Honor, I respect you and I respect the jury but I didn’t do this. And I’m not suicidal. And if anything happens to me when I walk in there -inside, I didn’t do it to myself.” And you all should know that.
As deputies led Smollett out of the courtroom, he repeatedly shouted that he was innocent and not suicidal.
As Jussie Smollett learned of his fate in court, the actor stormed into the courtroom, shouting “I’m not suicidal” and continuing to maintain his innocence.
In his decision, Judge James B. Linn said the “extreme premeditation” of the incident was an aggravating factor in the case. He also said he believed Smollett orchestrated the attack to a rigorous degree, rehearsing it at length.
“You have turned your life upside down,” Linn said. “You have destroyed your life as you know it. There is nothing I can do to you today that comes close to the damage you have done to your own life.”