Jussie Smollett Tarnished Chicago, The CPD, And All Hate Crime Victims

Jussie Smollett Tarnished Chicago, The CPD, And All Hate Crime Victims

He took advantage of an already-divided city for his personal gain.


On January 29, 2019, "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett claimed to be attacked by two men in Chicago who tied a rope around his neck, doused him in an unknown substance, and yelled racial and homophobic slurs. The attack was initially handled by the Chicago Police Department (CPD) as a hate crime and the department available resources to solve the case.

The media treatment of the assault due to Smollett's celebrity status catapulted it to the national level and brought undue criticism to Chicago and put the city's reputation in the spotlight.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, Smollett was treated as accordingly: as the victim of a hate crime. CPD handled the case with the highest degree of professionalism and with the utmost integrity.

Yet, the way the media handled the case coupled with the initial outpouring of support from high-level activists and politicians activated issues dividing America today. The issues range from racism and homophobia to distrust in the media and politically motivated attacks. In our current political climate, this case ignited deep-seated tensions.

The most damaging part of this case though was the level to which it dragged Chicago and its police department's reputation through the mud.

On February 21, 2019, Superintendent of the CPD, Eddie Johnson held a press conference to deliver key facts about the case, how it was handled, and the effects it's had on the city.

First, he reiterated Smollett's treatment as a victim until the story began to unfold after the attackers were arrested. Second, he questioned why an African American individual would use the symbolism of a noose in a racially-motivated attack in this "publicity stunt." Essentially, Smollett "took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career." Johnson's main pain-point was the incomparable level of media attention given to this case compared to the media attention given to the numerous victims and families of murder violence in the city. Third, this was a huge waste of time for CPD, and although no other cases were impacted, it is still "resources and time [they] will never get back."

The only thing Smollett managed to accomplish was bringing Chicago national attention for the wrong reasons. The city's reputation was dragged and all because of a hoax.

The least he can do is issue an apology and pay restitution to the CPD who work tirelessly to solve real, impactful cases each and every day.

The CPD works every day to uphold their oath and serve the citizens of the wonderful city of Chicago by keeping them safe and solving all the cases they encounter. Yes, certain cases might be more complicated and not as cut-and-dry as the Jussie Smollett case, but this case in no way, shape or form, reflects positively on the CPD. It brought the city's policing reputation into the spotlight due to the enormous volume of unsolved cases. While some say the CPD rushed to solve this case, I think the political pressure and media attention put undue stress on the department to perform.

This case is not only damaging to the CPD's reputation, but to Chicago's reputation as a whole.

It exposed Chicago as the murder capital with an immense volume of unsolved cases and put the blame on CPD's policing. However, if every murder case received the same amount of consistent media attention as Smollett's did, then perhaps more could be done in terms of people coming forth with evidence and pressure being put on the attackers.

Smollett also caused unjust damage to future victims of hate crimes by staging his attack.

Future attacks will be treated with undue skepticism from the outset because of this case. We have enough doubt about the victims of rape and sexual abuse, and now we will have doubts about hate crime victims. Where does it stop? We can only hope the next victim is not treated unjustly and is given due process to make their claims and given a fair investigation.

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Allegations Of Domestic Abuse Against Johnny Depp Turn Out To Be False

Johnny Depp was framed and it turns out that his now ex-wife was actually the abuser, not the other way around.


You might have heard last year that Amber Heard, leading female actress in "Aquaman," made allegations over domestic abuse against her then-husband, Johnny Depp. This caused Twitter to "cancel" Johnny Depp, compelling people to boycott his movies, including the latest film from the Harry Potter universe, "Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them." He was even dropped from the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise following those allegations.

Recently, however, Johnny Depp has filed a lawsuit against Heard for a whopping 50 million dollars on the counts that the abuse allegations she made were false. In addition, an overwhelming amount of evidence has been presented, including 87 surveillance tapes and 17 sworn eyewitness statements, showing that Heard was the perpetrator of the abuse, not Depp. She even became a "darling of the MeToo movement", a Human Rights Champion of the United Nations Human Rights Office, was appointed ambassador on women's rights at the American Civil Liberties Union, and was hired by L'Oreal Paris as its global spokesperson, as a result of the false allegations, according to the lawsuit from Depp's legal team. Reports say that she even confessed that they were a hoax as well.

It is truly a shame, and I am utterly disgusted at the level of sheer hypocrisy being demonstrated here. Imagine trying to propel your career based upon a mountain of lies and not only that, lies about the abuse that you committed. I honestly don't know how Heard can live with herself, having knowingly ruined someone's life by spreading lies, let alone causing a person such high levels of physical harm on multiple occasions (and on top of that her performance in "Aquaman" was EXTREMELY subpar). What Amber Heard did is just going to be used in favor of those who oppose the MeToo movement, because now there is clear evidence of a female celebrity lying about the abuse. Heard's lies could be used to discredit every woman telling the truth, and especially now we want to and SHOULD believe women. Instead of making things better for women, she has just magnified the damage and has made it increasingly difficult for women in the future to report their abuse because now there will be more speculation.

However, I do also think that it is crucial to think about the double standards we often hold here. Just because women tend to be the victims of abuse more than men does not mean that men do not also suffer abuse. Women should not be blindly believed on every occasion because of that statistic as well. We want so desperately to believe women, yet when Amber Heard claimed to have been abused she was believed without intense further investigations and even put on pedestals for her bravery, despite the fact that Depp's ex-wives had never suffered abuse by him. Perhaps every claim of abuse really should be investigated equally, regardless of the gender of the victim.

I am extremely glad that Johnny Depp was not the abuser because I have always admired his incredible acting and talent. I am glad that my impression of him can remain as good as it was before and that I can give him my full respect again. However, Amber Heard must be treated the same way Depp was when he was accused - full "cancellation."


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Dear Olivia Jade

An expression of concern on behalf of the student body.


Dear Olivia Jade,

Almost nineteen years ago I was born in Long Beach, California, to an immigrant mother and a father who would soon be essentially jobless. Both my parents went back to school when I was a child - my father got his law degree online and is now a public defender, and my mother got her degree in biology from Fresno State. It was incredibly difficult for both of them to do this and raise three children, but they did, and I am eternally grateful. From a young age, I was taught that education is important. You make sacrifices for it. It means a lot more to people than game days and partying.

Unfortunately, they never taught me that this country's educational system is incredibly classist (I have Twitter and my AP Composition teacher in high school to thank for that). For this demonstration, I'm going to have to talk about myself more - I'm sure as a vlogger you understand. When I applied to USC, I had a 3.8 GPA, took 9 AP classes, was heavily involved in choir, started a club for mental health awareness, and had written decent essays. I worked hard in high school, and I deserved to get in. But I was pretty privileged compared to most kids. I lived in a two bedroom apartment with my dad, but we were living comfortably. I had a laptop to study with, and if I needed anything for school he was there to support me. Furthermore, my high school's average family income was in the upper 9% compared to other schools, and having rich parents around means bigger donations, smaller class sizes, more extracurricular opportunities and overall a better quality education. The environment I was in encouraged me to succeed in a system where a degree from an elite university is seen as the key to entering the 1%, even though the only people who can truly afford it are in that top 1%. But I was grateful for the opportunities I had been given, and I chose USC because I thought that in the long run, it was worth the financial risk.

Still, sometimes I wished I was like you. You, with your famous parents, YouTube money, millions of followers, and excellent bone structure. You, with your carefree attitude about school, not having to worry about your midterms, not having to worry about getting a job, not having to worry about financial aid. But the fact of the matter is, whether or not you knew about the entire scam, you sit on a throne of privilege and lies. You were admitted to USC because your parents bribed your way in. You and your sister received scholarships from USC when they could have gone to two students who were much more deserving.

I'll admit, when this story broke it hurt me on a personal level. Right now I'm considering taking a year off from school and preparing to transfer, because I literally cannot afford to go here, and it is devastating. I can't tell you how bad it feels, as someone who worked so hard despite struggling with mental illness and was even hospitalized in high school, to get a reality check only halfway through your first semester that going to your dream school is no longer feasible. And I'm not alone. I have too many friends in similar situations, who have either accepted their impending debt, or who may drop out. We are the minority at USC, but the unfortunate majority of college students. We aren't here to have fun, we're here to get a degree. To get a job. To not disappoint our parents who sacrificed so much for us. To survive.

And that's why you should drop out.

At orientation, we were all told the five traits of a Trojan: faithful, skillful, scholarly, courageous, and ambitious. I do not know you well enough to know if you are faithful, courageous, or ambitious (skillful at social media and marketing, maybe), but you are most certainly not scholarly (aside from the whole mom paying $500,000 to get you in thing, your school-hating tweets are further proof). And if you and your sister don't drop out of USC, you won't have any integrity either. Two hard-working, bright, and deserving transfer applicants will be denied the opportunity of getting to study at an amazing school because of you taking their spots. They need this degree. You don't.

If, by a long shot, you're reading this, I hope you don't see this letter as a personal attack, rather, advice. An expression of concern on behalf of the student body. After all, you don't need a college degree to party in LA.


A broke, frustrated, yet hopeful college student.

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