A Black Lives Matter leader on Tuesday blasted the trial against Jussie Smollett as a "white supremacist charade" and suggested that law enforcement in Chicago were railroading the former actor because he is black.
Dr. Melina Abdullah — a former California State University professor who now serves as the director of BLM Grassroots — declared in a statement published on the organization's website that the movement will continue to stand with Smollett regardless of the outcome of the trial since they "can never believe police" over someone "who has been courageously present, visible, and vocal in the struggle for Black freedom."
Smollett — who is black and gay — drew national headlines in 2019 after claiming he was the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime put on by supporters of former President Donald Trump. But shortly after the supposed hate crime occurred, the ex-"Empire" actor's story began to fall apart.
Now he stands accused of staging the incident to boost his acting career, and is being tried in court on six counts of felony disorderly conduct.
During the trial, prosecutors even claimed that Smollett arranged a "dry run" of the hoax with his co-conspirators days before the attack — and that the practice session was caught on surveillance video.
Nevertheless, Abdullah claimed that "in an abolitionist society, this trial would not be taking place, and our communities would not have to fight and suffer to prove our worth."
"Instead, we find ourselves, once again, being forced to put our lives and our value in the hands of judges and juries operating in a system that is designed to oppress us, while continuing to face a corrupt and violent police department, which has proven time and again to have no respect for our lives," the BLM leader added.
She would go on to call policing at-large "an irredeemable institution" and to target the Chicago Police Department, in particular, "for its long and deep history of corruption, racism, and brutality."
"From the murders of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, to the Burge tortures, to the murder of Laquan McDonald and subsequent cover-up, to the hundreds of others killed by Chicago police over the years and the thousands who survived abuse, Chicago police consistently demonstrate that they are among the worst of the worst. Police lie and Chicago police lie especially," Abdullah said.
"Black Lives Matter will continue to work towards the abolition of police and every unjust system. We will continue to love and protect one another, and wrap our arms around those who do the work to usher in Black freedom and, by extension, freedom for everyone else," she concluded.
Smollett faces up to three years in prison if convicted of the charges. But experts suggest that he would ultimately only receive probation and be required to perform community service.
On Monday, the former actor testified on the witness stand in his own defense. Closing arguments in the case are scheduled to begin on Wednesday, after which jurors will enter deliberation.
(H/T: Fox News)