Video surveillance was the turning point for the Jussie Smollett investigation, who had told Chicago police that two men had attacked him while yelling homophobic and racial slurs on January 29th, 2019. This surveillance uncovered a more accurate timeline of events which contradicted what Smollett had originally told the police. After this crucial evidence was uncovered, it became clear that Smollett may have staged the crime to promote his own career. Without surveillance footage, the truth may not have come out.
Smollett, actor on the TV show, “Empire”, had convinced the police, the media, politicians, and the public that he was attacked by two men in ski masks that got away after beating him, creating an uproar over racism and homophobia. During the investigation, detectives turned to nearby stores, communities, and other private camera sources to find surveillance that could provide details of the incident. Once footage was found contradicting his story, Smollett became the suspect rather than the victim.
“It was because of these pod cameras, our investment into technology in the city of Chicago and the great assistance from the community in giving us those other cameras that led us to a really solid timeline of where our two persons of interest went. So in short, we were able to track them initially forward.” – Edward Wodnicki, Chicago Police Area Central Detectives Commander
Just one week after the Chicago Police Department had denied rumors that Smollett’s crime was a hoax, the investigation took a 180° turn. New video evidence linked the attack to two Nigerian brothers. The footage, discovered by CBS Chicago reporter Charlie De Mar, shows the brothers purchasing ski masks and other supplies for their attack. It was later discovered that many phone calls were placed between Smollett and the brothers throughout the night, eventually leading to Smollett’s arrest.
Video surveillance provides crucial evidence for criminal investigations like Smollett’s. Without the footage found in this case, the facts may have remained hidden. Video surveillance can provide key information that leads to more accurate and efficient investigations. When video surveillance is combined with live monitoring like Edgeworth Security’s Remote Guarding, it can even be used to stop crimes before they happen. Edgeworth’s Remote Guarding is able to prevent crimes before they occur by combining the power and precision of artificial intelligence with live human agents to pinpoint threats and act accordingly. Edgeworth Security uses this state of the art technology and their close ties with local police to stop criminals in the moment and provide crucial evidence after an incident has been resolved.