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Home / US / The Jussie Smollett case illuminates Chicago's litany of unresolved crimes

The Jussie Smollett case illuminates Chicago's litany of unresolved crimes



"It's still an open case," his brother complained. Abdullah Pratt, who practices in the emergency department of the University of Chicago Medical Center, not far from his hometown Southside. "Personally, of course I want more resources to be provided, whether that really helps or not, I do not know."

"I only wish that the families of gun violence in this city attract so much attention because they truly deserve the amount of attention we pay to this particular incident," said Chicago Police Chief Eddie Johnson the reporters before the actor was arrested on suspicion of filing a false report.

Angry police officers may have been deployed elsewhere

A team of investigators investigating possible hate crime has questioned the area and questioned more than 1

00 people, police said. They localized more than 20 private-sector surveillance cameras and about 35 police cameras and looked at hours of material.

Investigators searched mobile and financial records, police said. They have located two brothers whom Smollett allegedly paid to carry out the incident through taxis and carpooling they had taken after the reported attack. After they learned that the men had traveled to Nigeria, detectives met the brothers at customs when they returned.

Johnson said Smollett had not paid more attention than any other alleged victim of a crime, but complained that the funds provided for the investigation could have been used elsewhere.

"The detective work that we saw in this case is an indication of the work our detectives are doing every day in this city," he said.

  Text messages and rides helped police find evidence in the Jussie Smollett case [19659009] Text messages and rides helped police uncover evidence in Jussie Smollett

Pratt, a 29-year-old, has a close-up view of the armed force City is plaguing – which, according to the Chicago Tribune, has a homicide rate of about 17%.

"The more people you see having these unresolved murders in their families and unresolved crimes, this puts it in a proper context," he said. "They say, Ok, I'm not the only one who suffers and feels that way."

The young doctor speaks on block parties and community forums and teaches the residents to wear tricotages for trauma wounds through shots and punctures. He tells the story of his own loss with grieving families. In the hospital, he has to tell the parents that their child has been shot. And he often visits funerals for gunmen.

"It's a natural emotion for most people to feel that way, OK, if I had some extra detectives in this case, that would have been solved," Pratt said. "There are times when I'm jealous of cases that are solved, sometimes selfish."

Nevertheless, he understands why the police would spend resources on a high-profile case in which a celebrity claimed to be the victim of a racist and homophobic attack. The same can be said about media attention.

"It does not shock me at all," Pratt said of the attention paid to the investigation of Smollett. "It's really more the same when you look at Chicago and Illinois and politics, is it annoying, annoying of course, I could think of a million issues that could take precedence over this one incident."

"It should not be a star to gain justice"

In the weeks since the alleged attack, a series of twists in Smollett's story have changed from victim to suspect.

The actor has claimed to his first allegations that he was attacked. Celebrities and politicians supported her, but there were doubts. The setback grew louder as social media users questioned Smollett's allegations after police said they could not find a video from the incident of surveillance cameras.

"There are so many other crimes happening in Chicago and they have not even solved them," said Sabrina Harris, her 19-year-old son, Bryan, on August 14 at a supermarket in Harvey, a southern suburb of Chicago , shot and killed.

Taijean Hall, 17, was also killed. Two young men were later arrested in connection with the shootings.

"What made Jussie Smollett so special? It should not be a star status to get justice for anyone," Harris said.

Arlene Scott said her son Clifton Barney, 17, was fatally hit on his South Side neighborhood on May 17, 2013. She said she has not spoken to the homicide detective on the case for nearly two years. The resources devoted to the Smollett case did not surprise them.

"There are certain cases that they will focus on, compared to the young teenagers who pretty much kill each other," she said.

Rev. Ira Acree, pastor of the Greater St. John Bible Church on the West Side, told CNN affiliate WGN that he had waited 11 years to find out what happened to his cousin Yasmin. She was considered missing until evidence suggested that she had possibly been abducted.

"Why so many resources for this case?" he said of the investigation of Smollett. Nobody was killed, no one was killed … They should not be rich, famous or popular to catch the attention of the Chicago Police Department detective unit. "

Father Michael Pfleger, pastor at Saint Sabina Church and activist on the South Side in Chicago, went to Facebook to complain about investigators in the Smollett case.

On the south and west sides of the city, he wrote this week, "We have HUNDREDS of unresolved cases of shot and killed children, and parents can not even get a recall from a detective."


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