Actor Jussie Smollett Appears Outside Of Court After It Was Announced That All Charges Have Been Dropped Against Him
Nuccio DiNuzzo

Chicago Police Release Documents From Jussie Smollett Case

Chicago Police have unsealed nearly 400 pages from the Jussie Smollett attack investigation. The documents, which were made public Thursday (May 30), include police interviews with Smollett and the Osundairo brothers who claim that they conspired with the Empire star to pull off a staged assault.

Smollett’s name is mostly redacted throughout the documents, but the report states that he told police that he was attacked on Jan. 29, while walking back to his apartment after buying food from a nearby Subway. According to the investigation, Smollett said that he was on the phone with his manager when he heard two men yell out “Empire fa**ot”, “Empire Ni**er,” and “This is MAGA country” just as he was struck in the face and body causing “minor injuries.” Smollett tussled with the men before they fled the scene, the report states.

After the incident, the 36-year-old actor realized that his phone call with his manager was still connected. The manager told him to go home instead of chasing after the men. Upon returning to his apartment, Smollett noticed a rope around his neck that was “fashioned like a noose,” and that he his shirt was wet from a liquid substance that smelled of bleach. He also told a doorman that he had been “jumped” and continued walking to his apartment. Smollett didn’t want to contact police but was encouraged to report the attack.

Smollett maintained that he was attacked by two white men but could only see the eyes of one of his attackers. Although police supplied Smollett with a printout of potential suspects, he was unable to pinpoint his alleged attackers.

Later in the documents, Smollett goes from being a victim to an “offender.” The report recounts Abimbola Osundairo’s apprehension to speak with authorities because he believed that they would charge him with a crime as police had detained both men for questioning. Olabinjo was interviewed separately but sat in on Abi’s interview to make him feel more comfortable. The brothers’ lawyer was also present during the police interview.

The brothers told police that Smollett commissioned their help because he was unhappy with the lack of response to a threatening letter that was sent to him days before the alleged attack. The report goes on to state that Smollett was shown photos of the brothers and named Ola as his trainer and an extra on Empire. He also recognize Abi, but was unable to name him. Smollett told police that he was sure that his attackers were white noting that the brothers couldn’t have attacked him because they were “black as sin.”

Despite denying involvement in staging an attack, Smollett was accused of filing a false police report and indicted on multiple charges, which were dismissed in March. The brothers went on to file a defamation lawsuit against Smollett’s lawyers, while the city of Chicago sued Smollett to recoup money spent on the investigation.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, a source close to Smollett believes that the police documents prove that his story never changed. “The entire case against Jussie, as shown in the police files released today, is based, not on evidence, but on the testimony of the Osundairo brothers — two men who gave multiple versions of their stories and one of whom had a known criminal record,” the source told the Sun-Times. “Given the inconsistencies in the brothers’ stories, the lack of evidence and lack of motive, the State’s Attorney’s office did the proper thing when it dropped the charges.”

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Allen Berezovsky

Lauren London Debuts The Marathon Clothing x Puma Collection

Lauren London and PUMA are teaming up once again for a collaboration honoring the late Nipsey Hussle. London debuted the Marathon Clothing x Puma’s “Hussle and Motivate” collection on social media on Thursday (Jan. 23).

London is featured in the promo shoot with Hussle's close friends, YG, J. Stone, and Pacman Da Gunman.

 

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#HussleAndMotivate

A post shared by Lauren London (@laurenlondon) on Jan 23, 2020 at 5:56pm PST

Another image from the clothing collaboration shows London wearing a white sweatshirt with a message that reads, “We (The Marathon Clothing) honor the unwavering faith of those that never quit. Our products represent their testimony. Life is a marathon.”

 

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#HussleAndMotivate

A post shared by Lauren London (@laurenlondon) on Jan 23, 2020 at 5:58pm PST

London previously linked with Puma for a viral video campaign paying tribute to her longtime love. Hustle, whose Victory Lap recently went platinum, will be celebrated at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards with a tribute featuring YG, Roddy Ricch, Kirk Franklin, DJ Khaled and John Legend.

The Grammys air on CBS on Sunday, Jan. 26 at 8p.m. ET.

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Lil Wayne performs at the 2019 Outside Lands music festival at Golden Gate Park on August 09, 2019 in San Francisco, California.
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Lil Wayne Reveals Release Date For ‘Funeral’ Album

Four years after initially announcing the project, Lil Wayne took to Twitter on Thursday (Jan. 23) to reveal that his  Funeral album will drop next week.

“Welcome to the funeral, closed casket as usual,” Tunechi says in the album teaser. The Grammy winner also tweeted a link for fans to pre-order physical and digital copies of the album as a CD, vinyl or “digital cassette.” The online shop features album merchandise, including long-sleeved shirts, hoodies and beanies.

The New Orleans native’s last studio LP, Tha Carter V, dropped in 2018 after years of delays. In 2019, the 37-year-old rapper embarked on a joint summer tour with Blink-182, but the jaunt was marred by difficulty as Wayne walked off stage during one show and threatened to quit. He changed his mind hours later.

Even with all the tour trouble, Blink-182 had nothing but good things to say about Weezy. “The one day where he walked off stage, he had said, ‘I just felt like they didn’t like me,’ so he walked off stage,” drummer Travis Barker explained in an interview last year.

Funeral drops on Jan. 31. Check out the album teaser below.

1/31 https://t.co/7VtPC39vT6 pic.twitter.com/FQrLNA8ptn

— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) January 23, 2020

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Black People Make Up More Than 50% Of U.S. Homeless Population, Study Finds

Black people in the U.S. are disproportionately impacted by homelessness, per an Annual Homeless Assessment Report released by the Housing and Urban Department. According to the report, blacks account for more than 50% of the country’s homeless population, despite making up only 13% of the U.S. population.

“African Americans have remained considerably overrepresented among the homeless population compared to the U.S. population,” the report states. “African Americans accounted for 40% of all people experiencing homelessness in 2019 and 52% of people experiencing homelessness as members of families with children.

“In contrast, 48% of all people experiencing homelessness were white, compared with 77% of the U.S. population.” People identifying as Hispanic or Latino are bout “22% of the homeless population but only 18% of the populations overall.”

As of 2019, the U.S. homeless population swelled to 568,000, an increase of about 10,000 from the previous year. In 2019, Roughly 35,000 of those experiencing unaccompanied homelessness were under the age of 25, a 4% decrease from 2018. The number of those experiencing chronic homelessness increased by 9% between 2018 and 2019.

A staggering 52% of black families experience homelessness, compared to 35% for white families.

The goal of the report is to “demonstrate continued progress toward ending homelessness, but also a need to re-calibrate policy to make future efforts more effective and aligned with the unique needs of different communities.”

HUD, which is has been releasing the annual housing stats since 2007, shows a 3% bump in the number of those experiencing homelessness on any given night, a 16% increase in California, and a “decrease” in other states. California accounts for 53% (108,432 people) off all unsheltered homeless people in the country. Despite being only twice as large as Florida, California’s homeless population is nine times that of the Sunshine State, which came in at a distant second place with 6% (12,476 people). New York, Hawaii, California, Oregon and Washington have the highest rates of homelessness per 10,000 people.

Numerous variables come into play when determining the origin of the black homeless epidemic due to a longstanding system of oppression in housing, and beyond. Black families are twice as  likely to experience poverty in the U.S., compared to white families; and in spite of laws against open discrimination, black renters face overt and covert financial and racial prejudice, in addition to gentrification and the racial pay gap.

On Jan. 7, HUD unveiled a housing proposal that attempts to undue Obama-era housing mandates put in place to prevent racial discrimination. The newly-released proposal may end up further promoting racial discrimination.

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