Uber data used to identify accomplices in staged Jussie Smollett attack, police say

CNET | 2/21/2019 | Alfred Ng
samtetley (Posted by) Level 3
Click For Photo: https://cnet3.cbsistatic.com/img/KtmiTkwJR1AlcXj44pDYR0NbmzE=/724x407/2019/02/21/effb690e-e1e1-4e4d-a4f2-ae6dc05c717d/gettyimages-1126537269.jpg

Jussie Smollett poses for a booking photo after turning himself into the Chicago Police Department on February 21, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.

It was an Uber mistake for Jussie Smollett's faked assault.

Wednesday - Smollett - Fox - Empire - Chicago

On Wednesday, Smollett, who appears in Fox's Empire, turned himself in to Chicago police, who face charges that he faked a late January attack in downtown Chicago. Smollett said two men yelled racial and homophobic slurs while beating him.

Among the key pieces of evidence Chicago cops used to determine Smollett's report of a hate crime was a hoax: The Uber records of the brothers he allegedly hired for the fake attack.

Surveillance - Footage - Investigators - Ola - Abel

In surveillance footage, investigators saw Ola and Abel Osundairo, who Smollett allegedly paid $3,500 to stage the fake brawl, calling a rideshare car to the North Side neighborhood in Chicago. They had taken cabs part of the way, but the data from the rideshare call gave investigators two names they could track down.

"We followed up on the rideshare and that was the lead that we needed in order to identify the two persons of interest," Edward Wodnicki, a Chicago police commander, said during a press conference on Thursday.

Police - Videos - Surveillance - Cameras - City

Police used videos from surveillance cameras across the city and security footage from private citizens' cameras to track the brothers' trail, the commander said.

Uber didn't respond to a request for comment. The investigators also reached out to Lyft for information, the rideshare company said in an email.

Police - Ola - Abel - Names - Uber

Once police had Ola and Abel's names from Uber, Smollett's scheme unravelled. Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson said Smollett arranged the assault in order to raise his profile and negotiate a better salary on Empire.

Police executed more than 50 warrants on the two, obtaining phone records and social media information on the brothers. They were able to match Ola with the Uber ride...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
Wake Up To Breaking News!
Sign In or Register to comment.

Welcome to Long Room!

Where The World Finds Its News!