Chicago Police say Jussie Smollett staged hoax attack

"The View" co-hosts break down the case after police say the "Empire" actor faked a hate crime to "promote his career."
8:42 | 02/21/19

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Transcript for Chicago Police say Jussie Smollett staged hoax attack
air, the Chicago police department held a conference about the arrest of "Empire" star jussie smollett, and what they're saying is kind of shocking. Let's watch. Smollett attempted to gain attention by sending a false letter that relied on racial, homophobic and political language. When that didn't work, smollett paid $3500 to stage this attack and drag Chicago's reputation through the mud in the process. And why? Orchestrated by smollett because he was dissatisfied with his salary. So he concocted a story about being attacked. I don't want to make light of this but when you're bis dissatisfied with your salary, you have an agent for that and a lawyer. He's going to have noary now. Well, it backfired big time on him so what happens now, sunny? You know a lot about this story. He's been indicted by a grand jury. He was arrested today. He turned himself in, and now the process begins. His attorneys released a statement 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 these circumstances, we attempt to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense. So the process begins. He's hired a crackerjack team and I think negotiations perhaps may start, but when you looked at that press conference, at least when I did, I saw real anger from the Chicago police department. Rightfully so. Rightfully so. They did an amazing job by investigating this but they also spent probably hundreds of man hours and police resources that could have been used investigating real crime. The one thing that I think about this is I remember spending hour when I was prosecuting cases in victims' homes begging them to testify, begging them to come forward, and by and large, many of them were very afraid that they would not be believed. And this hoax, this thing that he did, is going to have a chilling effect now. Well, I was reading -- That people won't come forward. The FBI statistic is that 5% of accusations about rape are false, only 5%. It's usually between 2% and 8%. So it's even lower. But it has enormous impact on this fake news business that's going around. Enormous. So it's aery bad thing to do. The superintendent, to your point, they seemed quite emotional about it, honestly, as they should have. They said I wish that people in city that were victims of gun violence and families of victims got just even a morsel of the attention that this story has received. We talked already about how much harder this makes for crimes but just how much he's taken away from Chicago and how they're going to have to rebuild from this. You remember him on that interview that he did with our wonderful Roberts and I'm wondering what's going through his mind and he sat there with pins promoting lgbt and other things, saying, how could I do something like this knowing the hurt it would cause, knowing the impact it would have. How does he look himself in the mirror when you get up in the morning and go to bed at night. There are many other cases where people fake cancer, say they're victims of 9/11, things that are just crazy. Let's look at the clip that you're referring to so people see this. Watch. 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. And then it became a thing of like, oh, it's not necessarily that you don't believe that this is the truth, you don't even want to see the truth. The way people can just lie like that is -- Well, he's not just people. He's an actor, right, and obviously he's like a great dramatic actor. Can I say one thing really quick. I actually want give props to you, sunny, because I think all of us learned from the covington catholic situation, at least I did. I don't tweet about news stories like this or comment on it until time has passed, at least 24 hours if not more, and we did that responsibly on this show. So I think we can get a little props for this. I also want to say the reason why this story started so much attention is because he brought politics in this. In this interview he was talking about I come really, really hard against 45, meaning against president trump. Just this show I just assume every actor everywhere hates trump and hates Republicans, so he wasn't original. So it never made sense to me why you? That means all of Hollywood is going to be attacked in one way or the other and that's what set the questioning off, at least for me, why specifically him. Everybody comes after 45 hard. Not everybody. I'm sorry,everybody, but I would put the vast majority of Hollywood. I just make the assumption from my experience, doesn't like president trump, I don't think that's a jump. But I don't understand why victimhood, he would think that making himself the victim in any way would be the way to go, as you said, for your salary dispute. It's done long-term damage for real people of hate crimes, every hate crime coming forward. I want to say one more thing. Desaun chase walker is a 1-year-old boy who was shot in the head sitting in his car one month ago. I wish one of these detectives would have been put on that case and solved an actual crime that needs solving. Are you saying because he's a celebrity? Yes. At the end of the conference a reporter asked the officer what would be justice to you, and he wants the city of Chicago to be paid back for the hundreds of hours that they used, that were used. Maybe he should pay himself with that salary of his. Well, he doesn't have a salary anymore. I actually think the city of Chicago looked great in this instance. They took it seriously. They devoted the resources at the time. You could see that those cops were heartfelt about this. What they are doing now, taking this situation seriously, throwing the book at him, not treating him with kit gloves because he's a celebrity, they are going to make an example of him. And as I said the other day, I had seen him in Miami a week before this happened talking passionately and emotionally about inclusion and representation and equality for lgbtq and minorities. So I did believe him, and I also think we're a little bit hyper sensitized because hate crimes are up. There is a huge spike in hate crimes because we've seen black men dragged out of a Starbucks, because we've seen an old Mexican man get beat up with a brick in L.A. We have seen time and time again instances of this, and so I think, yes, we are oversensitized maybe. We are hyper Ed. So I feel duped. I am pissed. I am going to need more than a rehab counselling. I'm going to need more than an apology. He's going to have to pay very real consequences for WHA has done. Don't you think something's wrong with him also? Yes, I do. I think we should not negate that he could actually be a sociopath. I think something is wrong there and he needs to be treated. How do you look yourself in the mirror. At first I thought it was what they call affect tissues victimization where somebody starts a fire and then they call the fire department and they also go in the building to save people so that they're the perpetrator and then the victim and the hero. He's not as well. I to give you kudos as Meghan did because I think this is a lesson for everyone in society when you jump on something because it might fit your narrative. Well, I never tweet so I'll give myself kudos. That is true. Every morning -- the story has been going on for weeks and every morning it's should we cover this. Sunny said there are so many questions here, take a breath, take a seat. I learned from the covington boys situation. I will never do it again ever. There were issues for me with this case and because I knew him personally, I was concerned about the case, but as a person that was in law enforcement, I knew that this case was problematic. My question now for everyone though, this is a class four felony, right? Three years in prison. Is this someone that should go to jail for it?

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

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