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Black juror: Smollett’s reaction to the noose makes no sense | Celebrity news

CHICAGO (AP) – The only black juror on the panel who convicted Jussie Smollett of lying to Chicago police said he couldn’t get over what the actor failed to do after claiming attackers gave him had passed a noose: tear it off and keep it off.

While others viewed the noose as Smollett’s clumsy effort to portray his attackers as racist, Andre Hope saw more of it.

“As an African American, I don’t put that noose back at all,” Andre Hope told WLS-TV. At trial, Smollett said that after the attack on downtown Chicago in January 2019, he went home and put the rope on. around his neck so that the police who came to his apartment shortly after could see him.

Hope was not the only black person to have fought against Smollett’s use of such a powerful symbol of racism in the United States to convince authorities that he was the victim of a hate crime.

In an interview with NewsNation Now after Smollett was convicted last Thursday, Eddie Johnson – who was Chicago Police Superintendent in January 2019 when Smollett said he was attacked – said much the same.

“I was worried because I don’t think there are a lot of black people in America with a noose around their neck and wouldn’t take it off immediately,” Johnson said.

Hope said the evidence against Smollett was overwhelming. At trial, two brothers testified that Smollett recruited them to carry out the mock attack. Hope said the counter-narrative put forward by Smollett’s lawyers that the couple actually planned the attack on Smollett didn’t make sense.

“When you just use your common sense like what’s there, yeah, it doesn’t add up,” said Hope, a 63-year-old father of two who lives in the suburb of Bellwood, west of Chicago.

Hope listened to prosecutors say Smollett staged the hoax because he was angry that the studio where he filmed the “Empire” TV show did not take the hate messages he received seriously. . But after all the evidence has been presented, after all the witnesses have testified, Hope still has one big question.

“I still haven’t figured out why he did it, why it even had to happen,” Hope said. “He was a star.”

Smollett faces up to three years in prison when he returns to court next year for conviction. But experts said he was much more likely to be placed on probation and ordered to do community service.

That would suit Hope, who thinks Smollett doesn’t deserve to go to jail. And, he said, he hopes the actor – who has testified he lost his livelihood – has a chance to resume his career.

For more information on copyright, see the distributor of this article, WLS-TV.