In this Feb. 1, 2019 photo, a surveillance camera is seen near the spot where “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett allegedly staged the attack in Chicago. Chicago police tapped into a vast network of surveillance cameras _ and some homeowners’ doorbell cameras _ to help determine the identities of two brothers who later claimed they were paid by “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett to stage a racist and homophobic attack. (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford)

How Chicago’s surveillance camera network helped solve the Jussie Smollett case

Police tapped into Chicago’s vast network of surveillance cameras to help track down two brothers who claimed they were paid by “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett to stage an attack on him.

Officers reviewed video from more than four dozen cameras to trace the men’s movements before and after the alleged attack to determine where they lived and who they were. Authorities have access to more than 32,000 cameras mounted on buildings, poles, train tunnels, buses and private homes.

Smollett reported being jumped and beaten up by two men who shouted anti-gay and racial slurs. But his story fell apart when the brothers told police that Smollett paid them to stage the attack because he wanted to promote his career.

The actor was charged with making a false police report.


A timeline of Jussie Smollett’s reported attack and its investigation

Jussie Smollett released from jail after charges detailed: ‘It’s just despicable’

Jussie Smollett charged with disorderly conduct, prosecutors say

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