|Jussie Smollett | Wikipedia|
Here is an update on the investigation into TV star Jussie Smollett’s allegation that he was the victim of a race- and sexual orientation-based hate crime in Streeterville early last Tuesday:
Overall: Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson today said that Smollett is still being treated as the victim in the case. However, Smollett will be held responsible if the investigation reveals that he made a false report, according to Johnson. (Rafer Weigel, Fox Chicago)
Additionally, police were said to be preparing for possible interrogations, but they did not say of whom. (Matt Finn, Fox News)
Rope: Investigators had been working to identify the source of the rope that Smollett said was tied around his neck in a noose during the attack. The FBI has extensive scientific resources and product samples that frequently allow its technicians to identify the manufacturer of rope and cord evidence.
In a simplified example, technicians could determine that the rope is made by “ABC Rope Company.” Investigators might contact ABC and learn that the particular variety recovered from Smollett is sold as a plain-label product through Walgreens stores. Investigators then ask Walgreens for records of transactions in which the rope was sold. The last step would be to identify the more promising purchases and to review surveillance video and financial records of those transactions.
A source close to the case said Monday that investigators were visiting retail stores, which may indicate that the search for video and transaction records is underway.