Jussie Smollett taken into custody by Chicago police

The "Empire" actor has been charged with felony disorderly conduct for filing a false report, according to police and the state attorney's office.
8:10 | 02/21/19

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Transcript for Jussie Smollett taken into custody by Chicago police
breaking news. Jussie smollett has turned himself in to Chicago police. Facing a felony charge of filing a false police report. Police are prepare fog are a afternoon. Eva pilgrim is in Chicago with the latest. Good morning, Eva. Reporter: Good morning, robin. Once the victim, now a suspect, this morning, at ussie smollett turned himself in to police. This morning, jussie smollett taken into custody. Police accusing him of filing a false police report fabricaing the attack he says he suffered at the hands of two men wearing ski masks. At first it was a thing of like, listen, if I tell the truth then that's it because it's the truth. Then it became a thing of like, oh, how can you doubt that? Like how do you not believe that? It's the truth. Reporter: Smollett detailed the alleged brutal attack in an interview with ABC last week. I see the attacker masked and he said this Maga country , punches me right in the face so I punched his ass back then we started tussling. Reporter: But in newly released surveillance video these two brothers who police initially identified as attackers are seen buying what appear to be a ski mask and red baseball caps. Police say the men who sat for more than two hours for a grand jury yesterday told them they were paid by smollett to stage and participate in the alleged attack. I think jussie smollett should come clear because the truth will set him free. Reporter: The attorney for the two men speaking out last night outside the courthouse claiming her clients and smollett have been in contact at least once since the incident. I think jussie's conscience is probably not letting him slope so should unload that and tell the American people what happened. Who the Would make something like this up or add something to it or whatever it may be. I can't -- I can't even -- I'm an advocate. You do such a disservice when you lie about things like this. Reporter: Overnight a new statement from smollett's legal team defending the actor saying, like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked. Given the circumstances we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense. If convicted, the class four felony could put the 36-year-old behind bars. Now, we are told that smollett made a statement to police before being taken into custody. He is expected here in bond court later this afternoon. Guys. All right, Eva, thank you. We bring in Dan Abrams and our senior legal correspondent and analyst, sunny Hostin. Thank you both for coming in. Dan, it is apparent that the police fully believe the brothers and fully believe that smollett set this up. Right, and they must have corroborating evidence. We saw there the video of the brothers buying the mask and the rope, et cetera, and, remember, you have to ask yourself why would the brothers implicate themselves in this if they had nothing to do with it? Now you're in a position the only defense I C really think of for smollett is going to be, yes, they did this to me. I had no idea that they were going to do this to me, and they said these things and I had nothing to do with it. That's why text messages, anything bringing them together will be a problem. It also appears clear they of perjury and that a grand jury has indicted them for these charges. That's not the only thing. Smollett's lawyers have been in negotiations with police and prosecutors and other possible outcomes here. Well, yeah, there are. First of all seeing a different tone from the smollett team now. Initially it was how dare you suggest that he might have made this up. He's a victim here. Now it's talking about the presumption of innocence which is what we hear with anyone who is charged with a crime. The question will be there some sort of deal that can be reached? You have to ask yourself are prosecutors going to offer any deal? I mean, that's question one. And, you know, as a former prosecutor I will tell thaw what is very difficult about this case is many, many hours of, you know, were spent investigating it and Chicago is a very, very -- this area is a very, very high crime area so those hour cost have been spent investigating -- What the police are saying they didn't use resources that would have been used on other homicides but clearly costs and any settlement would have to involve paying those back. Think about the larger issue here which is the chilling effect on victims, crime victims coming forward. I spent many hours trying to get victims of crimes to to come forward to testify against their abuser and they didn't want to come forward because people they thought would not believe them and thought there would be repercussions and consequences. This type of crime, if true, hasus chilling ee 23ek9. That's why the police were so cautious and, remember, they September saying that they were investigating a possible hate crime. They were looking at him as being the victim on this. Now he is the suspect but, guys, this touches all the buttons. It does. Setback for race relation, homophobia. Maga supporters who the fingers are pointed at them. I cannot think of another case where there's anger on so many can understand why there would be. If true, he has almost single-handedly had this chilling effect on the lgbtq community and black community. And victims. And there is this divisiveness we're seeing in this country. I don't think our country needed this at this time and because that of prosecutors will take this very, very seriously and, George, to your point, a deal in this kind of case, this kind of high-profile case may be difficult to come by. Yeah, I think what's right. When you watch -- your interview will be evidence in this case. No question. That sort of locks him in there to a particular account. And when you watch, god, it is so hard to watch that, him now talking about how anyone who could ever make something this. That's what everyone in America is thinking is exactly what he said right there. He is -- we should be findful, he was, of course, entitled to the presumption of innocence but if a grand jury has indicted him, he has been arrested. He has said he still said he hasn't done it. How do you get through that he said/she said -- You look for object evidence, something beyond accounts. Surveillance, et cetera. All assuming a fight. But it is possible, tell me if I'm wrong, but it is possible that if that statement he gave to the police this morning he comes out and on fests and says I did do this, that could be path toward more leniency. If you take haven't, prosecutors always look very, kindly on that. I always did. That doesn't necessarily mean you get a deal. Could still mean you're pleading guilty the crime you're charged. The brothers are not G immunity. There's no indication. Their lawyer saying is they don't need immunity. The lawyer is saying there's no concern for them on the legal front. We'll have to see. If the only charge against smollett is he filed a false police report -- The question is what did they know about what he was going to do with this? That will be the critical question. I you'll talk about this on "The view" today. I'm pretty hour sear.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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