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Chicago police release 400 pages of case files in Jussie Smollet's investigation

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Posted at 4:23 PM, May 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-30 19:23:15-04

CHICAGO (KABC) — The Chicago Police Department released more than 400 pages of official documents from "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett's case.

The documents include case reports, arrest files and supplementary files. The only new information released in Thursday documents are in the final pages, indicating that Chicago police knew weeks ahead of time that there was a deal in the works between Smollett and the Cook County State's Attorney's Office led by Kim Foxx, who later recused herself from the case.

The electronic files can be found here: Smollett Electronic Case Files

When the charges were dropped March 26, Chicago police and Mayor Rahm Emanuel were publicly shocked, stunned and outraged. The newly released documents reveal that nearly a full month before charges were dropped on February 28, the assistant state's attorney on the case told Chicago police detectives that she felt the case would be settled with Smollett paying the city of Chicago $10,000 in restitution and doing community service, which is exactly what happened.

Even after that police continued to pursue evidence in the case up the day the charges were dropped in March. What is not known is whether the detectives who were told that a deal was in the works to cut Jussie free reported that up the chain of command, and whether it ever made it to Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Mayor Emanuel.

Police also have 69 hours of video in the case that could be released next week. According to officials, the final release will be pertinent video files that require a heavy amount of digital redaction that includes blurring of faces of individuals not involved in the investigation and license plates of unrelated vehicles.

Last week, a Cook County judge ordered police and prosecutors to unseal the documents in the case.

The records were sealed in March shortly after charges against Smollett were abruptly dropped by prosecutors. Attorneys representing the media, including ABC7, challenged the sealing of the records.

The "Empire" actor faced several charges for allegedly staging a racist and homophobic attack on himself in January.

The TV actor claimed he was the victim of a vicious hate crime in the Streeterville neighborhood on January 29. He said two men physically attacked him while yelling racist and homophobic slurs, threw a chemical liquid on him and looped a rope around his neck.

Two days after the alleged attack, Chicago police released surveillance images of two people they said they considered persons of interest in the attack.

But the investigation turned on Smollett. He was accused of allegedly orchestrating the attack with the Osundairo brothers, who he knew. One brother was an extra on "Empire" and the other was Smollett's personal trainer.

Prosecutors said Smollett paid the brothers to pull off the staged attack.

Smollett had also reported a threatening letter sent to him on the "Empire" set containing a white powder, a week before the alleged attack. The letter is currently in the FBI crime lab for analysis, sources said, and experts believe Smollett could face federal charges for allegedly sending the letter.

All charges against Smollett were dropped in late February in exchange for community service and forfeiture of his $10,000 bond payment.

Smollett has maintained his innocence. The City of Chicago is suing the actor for the costs of the investigation and damage to the city's reputation.

The Osundairo brothers have since filed a lawsuit in their defense claiming Smollett hired them to stage an attack on the actor and were back in court Thursday.

The Osundairo brothers are suing Smollett's legal team for defamation.

Attorneys for the Osundairo brothers are asking that their lawsuit be served to the defendants by U.S. Marshals, claiming Smollett's lawyers have failed to respond to notices of the lawsuit.

This story was originally written byKABC.