While many aren’t standing with Jussie Smollett due to his hate crime hoax scandal, the Los Angeles branch of Black Lives Matter is continuing to support the former Empire star.
Black Lives Matter LA founder Melina Abdullah released a statement on their website saying the organization is sticking beside him after he was found guilty of four felony counts of disorderly conduct for lying to the police with false police reports.
“So let’s be clear: we love everybody in our community,” Abdullah said in a statement on the website for the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. “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, who is a police abolitionist and former California State University professor, on to praise Smollett for how he handled himself during the trial, saying that he “has been courageously present, visible, and vocal in the struggle for Black freedom.”
Even though Smollett has been convicted of lying about a hate crime against himself, Abdullah still doesn’t believe the verdict is justifiable. She felt like he was on trial trying to prove his worth instead of his innocence.
“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.”
Abdullah also shunned the Chicago Police Department, saying they are “notorious for its long and deep history of corruption, racism, and brutality.”
“Police lie and Chicago police lie especially,” she said.
Smollett is facing three years in prison but is expected to be sentenced to probation.