A dozen supporters of Jussie Smollett rally outside Cook County Jail, demand he should be freed
CHICAGO - About a dozen supporters of actor Jussie Smollett rallied outside the Cook County Jail on Sunday to protest his jail sentence.
The former "Empire" actor was convicted of five counts of disorderly conduct and sentenced to 150 days in jail for staging a hate crime against himself in January 2019. He must also pay $145,000 in restitution to the City of Chicago and do 30 months of felony probation.
People at the rally on Sunday said the judicial system is racist and that Smollett should not serve any jail time.
Judge James Linn approved a request submitted Thursday by Smollett's attorneys that the 39-year-old be held in a cell by himself monitored continuously by cameras and guards.
At the sentencing hearing, Smollett repeated his claim that he is innocent.
"If I did this, then it means that I stuck my fist in the fears of Black Americans in this country for over 400 years and the fears of the LGBT community," Smollett said, standing up at the defense table as his lawyers and sheriff’s deputies surrounded him. "Your Honor, I respect you and I respect the jury but I did not do this. And I am not suicidal. And if anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself. And you must all know that."