Jussie Smollett’s brother, Jocqui Smollett, is calling out the State of Illinois over the sentence handed down last week that required the Empire actor to serve jail time.
Jocqui, 32, spoke directly to the state officials in a video posted on Jussie’s official Instagram account.
“Clear my brother’s name,” he said of the 39-year-old actor. “Make sure this appeal clears my brother’s name. You have a liability on your hand. Anyone with intelligence at the state level should understand that. There’s absolutely no evidence that Jussie did this, there never was. The CPD went on a smear campaign of my brother’s name.”
Jocqui also accused the state of botching his brother’s case.
“There’s countless numbers of police misconduct in this case,” he said. “Judicial misconduct, prosecutorial misconduct, double jeopardy. State of Illinois: do the right thing – make sure this appeal goes through.”
In the caption, Jocqui claims that Jussie’s release from jail on March 16 while on appeal is vindication that the verdict and sentence are wrong.
“Jussie is innocent. For far too long Black folks have been expected to go through trauma and then get back up as if that trauma is normal. We will be speaking on Jussie’s behalf for the near future,” he wrote. “2 out of 3 state judges voted this week to suspend Jussie’s jail sentence while he awaits his appeal. This is a clear acknowledgment from the state that there are holes in this case.”
Jocqui added: “To the State of Illinois, do the right thing and clear Jussie’s name.”
Jussie Smollett was sentenced to five months in Cook County jail on March 10 after a conviction of five felony counts of disorderly conduct. In addition to the jail time, he was ordered to pay restitution and serve out 30 months of probation.
After he was sentenced, Smollett lowered his mask and stated his innocence, adding, “Your honor, I respect you and I respect the jury, but I did not do this.”
He then took his eyes off the judge and turned to the people of the court to say, “And I am not suicidal,” he said according to CNN. “And if anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do this to myself. And you must all know that.”