After writing about the three detectives listed on Jussie Smollett’s initial police report, more detectives’ names were released when Chicago police rushed investigation records to the media after Jussie’s charges were dropped. The media has not reported on these detectives’ backgrounds, but they are certainly newsworthy – and call the entire investigation into question.
13 officers are listed on the CPD reports. Two have no civilian allegations. The remaining 11 detectives have 177 civilian allegations against them. The city of Chicago also paid to settle the cases of four of these detectives when they were sued for misconduct. This can be found in the Chicago Reporter’s database. Though neither the officers nor city of Chicago openly admits to the allegations, it remains true that the city of Chicago paid to settle these specific cases.
One of the detectives sued for misconduct is Morad Haleem, the supervisor who approved the investigation documents recently released to the media. In the case, which the city of Chicago paid to settle, plaintiff Derrick Thrasher was pulled over for driving a car with tinted windows, then pressured by Haleem to confess to a crime he didn’t commit. When Thrasher refused, Haleem began choking him and slammed his head into a wall allegedly. Thrasher was admitted to the hospital at least twice as a result of his injuries. Haleem does not appear to have been disciplined for this, and in fact went on to allegedly falsely arrest two Black women in 2015.
The city of Chicago also paid to settle the cases of two detectives who responded the night Jussie reported the attack. In the case of detective Considine, who was written aboutpreviously, he allegedly arrested the wrong person despite being told it was the wrong person. This man then had additional false charges filed against him. The case was dropped months later.
Detective Cecchin, who was also written about previously, was involved in a case where the victim of a violent attack was arrested and charged, despite the officers being quite aware that they were arresting the wrong person. According to the incident reports, which the city of Chicago paid to settle, the officers allegedly arrested a man who was still being actively attacked by a neighbor in front of them, a man whose hand was bleeding after being attacked with a butcher knife. They arrested him despite being called to the scene by this man’s fiancée, whom they ignored when they arrived. This man spent two years in jail awaiting trial. The charges were dismissed by a jury.
Chicago also paid to settle three of detective Javier Zambrano’s cases for allegedly falsely arresting and brutalizing innocent men along with other officers. Zambrano was involved in acquiring camera footage in Jussie’s investigation, and has 17 civilian allegations against him. They include damaging/trespassing on the property of two White women with 16 officers, damaging property in a home, illegal searches, false arrests, and unnecessarily displaying a weapon off duty with 21 officers against eight Latino men.
The city of Chicago paid over $260,000 to settle these four officers’ cases between 2011-2017.
Detective Alexander Kim was involved at the store where the Osundairo brothers were filmed buying red hats – which Jussie never said they were wearing. It is not written on the initial police report, and he specifically addressed this falsity in the interview on ABC.
Kim has two allegations against him regarding inventory. One was that he failed to inventory the money of two Black women, and the other simply says ‘inventory procedures violation’ against a White woman which was noted as a violation in his record. Kim also seems to have had difficulty with inventory in Jussie’s investigation.
Kim did not notice that police reports never said the attackers wore red hats – which the brothers were interestingly filmed buying. He also did not notice that the brothers bought masks of a different style than Jussie described – buying masks with two small eye holes instead of one large opening around both eyes including the bridge of the nose, which Jussie described in the ABC interview. Kim and his colleagues also did not appear to notice that the time stamp on this curious filming of the brothers was extremely strange, as mentioned by lawyer Mark Geragos in an interview with Anderson Cooper. Perhaps a more thorough inventory would have produced a better video with evidence that actually had something to do with this case.
Kim’s other allegations include illegal searches of cars and homes – all against Black men and women, excessive use of force, falsely arresting two Black men (the complainant was a White man), conduct unbecoming towards two White women, and a complaint regarding a Black woman’s right to call an attorney or relative.
The other six detectives who investigated Jussie’s case and have allegations against them are: Ronald Jasica, Ronald Blas, Michael Vogenthaler, Kimberly Murray, William Heneghen, and Michael Theis. Charges against these officers include sale or possession of drugs, false arrests, verbal abuse, illegal searches, domestic incidents, a homophobic slur against a Black man, excessive use of force on and off duty, and bribery/official corruption.
It’s possible for any detective to botch a rushed investigation, but detectives with these kinds of backgrounds should be watched very carefully.
Though their backgrounds and specific involvement in Jussie’s case are incredibly newsworthy, it is not possible to write more about these other detectives in this article. It remains the duty of the media who cover this case to make this information available to the public.
Much of the public believe Jussie is guilty. How could this have occurred before the man even went to trial? When looking back at the string of events, we see that the media began reporting as though Jussie was guilty immediately after he spent a day in jail when he was indicted. The media does not have this right. On the contrary, their behavior is gravely irresponsible.
Jussie’s lawyers requested cameras in the courtroom so that the public could see exactly what kind of evidence CPD has. The public has not been given insight into just how flawed the detectives’ work was.
The court of public opinion is no arbiter of justice in this case. Following the media line, many have behaved as an uninformed mob who have called this man out of his name so often in the last two months it’s like they are describing a person they concocted. Their descriptions certainly do not resemble Jussie’s background, contributions, or the efforts he has made on behalf of humanity. He has spoken against police brutality and court corruption frequently, as well as stood up for humanity repeatedly. The mass slander of this man spreads an arrogant sickness in society, which does not benefit the people, Jussie, or society.
Who does it benefit? CPD. Yes, the #16shotsandacoverup CPD. As well as a mass media who spun the case and then reported extensively on the spin and reactions it fomented in our society. It’s telling to see how much the media is avoiding writing about corrupted authority and information that would clear Jussie’s name. Despite this, the mass media continues to have an ethical responsibility to accurately inform the public. It is the only real duty it has.
Jussie has been quiet recently as storms of sickness rage around him. Perhaps he knows more about how to deal with this situation – and continue to fight to bring well-being to others – than one might think. After all, he did write a song called Hurt People Hurt People that addresses the kind of sickness he is now dealing with.
Now we are watching you come for my life
Hurt people hurt people
They don’t know why
Hurt people hurt people
They don’t even try
We all go through things in our lives
That don’t make shit all right
You don’t hate me
Hurt people hurt people
He’s a deep man.