On Tuesday, a Black Lives Matter (BLM) leader said that the movement would push forward with supporting Jussie Smollett, regardless of his trial’s outcome. The said leader also described the trial as a “white supremacist charade.”
Former California State University professor Melina Abdullah, who also co-founded the Los Angeles BLM group, stated that the actor – who is on trial for allegedly faking a hate crime against himself – “has been courageously present, visible, and vocal in the struggle for Black freedom.”
BLM to Continue Supporting Smollett
“As abolitionists, we approach situations of injustice with love and align ourselves with our community. Because we got us,” the BLM leader said in a statement posted on the BLM movement’s national arm website, the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation.
“So let’s be clear: we love everybody in our community. It’s not about a trial or a verdict decided in a white supremacist charade, it’s about how we treat our community when corrupt systems are working to devalue their lives,” Abdullah added.
She went on to say: “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 who has proven time and again to have no respect for our lives.”
According to the BLM leaders, members of the movement and the Defund the Police initiative will never believe the police, especially the department in Chicago, over a Black person such as Smollett.
“While policing at-large is an irredeemable institution, CPD is notorious for its long and deep history of corruption, racism, and brutality. Police lie and Chicago police lie especially,” she added.
“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,” Abdullah concluded.
The former Empire actor is charged with six felony counts of disorderly conduct for telling the Chicago police a lie by filing a false report about an alleged hate crime incident. This class 4 felony could land him a prison sentence of up to three years. However, experts say that if Smollett is convicted, he would likely receive a probation and community service sentence instead.
On Monday, Smollett testified in his own defense, and there, he maintained his innocence.
On Wednesday, closing statements for the trial will start before jurors are to be dismissed for deliberation.