All Charges have been dropped in Jussie Smollett’s case

(Photo source: instagram @jussiesmollett)

All charges against the Empire actor Jussie Smollett have been dropped with relation to the masked attack that Smollett claimed to have happened to him in February. Smollett was under intense scrutiny as different pieces of his story seemed to be inconsistent and after two Nigerian men were questioned and were suspected by CPD that they were hired by Jussie to commit the crime. As a result of these inconsistencies Jussie was arrested and charged with 16 felony counts stemming from falsifying a police report. The Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson took to the airwaves to reprimand Smollett for wasting the resources of the police department for and event that seemed to materialize as a hoax. Todays turn of events raises an eyebrow and sets yet another spotlight on the city of Chicago which is currently set to elect it first Black Woman as Mayor of Chicago. 

“He was a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator as a result of false and inappropriate remarks made to the public causing an inappropriate rush to judgement.” Said Smollett’s attorney Patricia Brown Holmes

It still is not clear why the charges were dropped or if the Chicago Police department is admitting to a rush to judgement. A statement from the Cook County States Attorney reads “After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollett’s volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his bond to the City of Chicago,” the statement continues “we believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case.”

Smollett forfeited his $10,000 bond to the City of Chicago; however his attorneys stand by the position that Smollett’s charges being dropped are not the result of a plea deal but an agreement. This decision was made so Jussie would not have to fight and to get this over with. 

“I want you to know that not for a moment was it in vain. Ive been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one. I would not be my mothers son if I was capable of one drop of what I had been accused of. This has been an incredibly difficult time, honestly one of the worst of my entire life, but I am a man of faith. I am a man who has knowledge of my history and I would not bring my family our lives or the movement through a fire like this.”  said Smollett as he exited the court.  

-Precise

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That time Precise was on “Empire”

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Gail Rastorfer – Terrence Howard and Eddy “Precise” Lamarre – Photo by Chuck Hodes

Now here is the story. I just landed in Chicago after an epic trip to NY. I went to see Brandy in the Broadway production of Chicago and she was awesome. Anyway, I just landed in Chicago and I was invited to an event featuring a new artist by the name of Matt Legrande. He was doing a single release of song that featured Twista at the Vertigo lounge. I go and do my thing like taking pictures, posting to social media and networking. A few days later I get a call from a casting agency (I assume I handed my card to a casting agent) inviting me in to read for a role on Empire. For those of you who don’t know Empire is currently the hottest show on television now so imagine how excited I was. I immediately called my sister for some pointers for the audition; I was up for the role of Moses. Moses is locked up with Lucious and wants Lucious to give him a record deal. I went to the audition did the best I knew how to do and waited for a call back. I never got a call back.

Precise at Simon Casting

Precise at Simon Casting

A few days later a friend of mine posts that Empire is looking for extras. Considering I didn’t get a call back I figure it couldn’t hurt to apply. I followed the instructions, shot an email to the casting agency and the next day they sent me an email saying I was accepted. POW!

So the day comes when I go do my extra work. I pack my black suit, white shirt shoes and tie in my K&G garment bag and head to set. Once I get there I immediately get nervous. This was my first time doing anything like this and I didn’t know what to expect. They round up all the extras put us through wardrobe where I get a tie then take us to where everything is being filmed.

My role as an extra was a Federal Marshall. We get propped up and taken over to the court room we walk to the back and Terrence Howard (Lucious) is there in an orange prison jumpsuit. It all gets so real in that moment. There are three Federal Marshalls. We are instructed to walk Lucious into the court room and stand him in front of the judge. His lawyers are there waiting on him. We walk him out and do as we instructed. The entire cast is there and Taraji is there looking just like Cookie…lol. Lee Daniels the creator of the show is there directing this specific episode. He looks at the scene then moves one of the Marshalls who is standing next to Luscious to the side and put me in his place with one of his lawyers on the other side of him. BOOM!!

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Precise – Terrence Howard on Set

When we headed back to the extra gathering area, everyone was reminding me how I really lucked out to get that look. I knew I did, but I know how television goes and I had no expectation of even making the cut. We filmed the scene like 30 times. I was happy to have had the experience and ready to go home after a long day of filming.
Fast forward a month or so and I am a seasoned extra at this point. I’ve been called back twice and I’m looking forward to see if I have made the cut. I get an update to my Facebook page from one of my friends that says “Did I miss something?” So I go see what she is talking about and it’s a picture of me, Terrence Howard and Gail Rastorfer in a promotional picture for the upcoming season of Empire. I YELLED AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS!! WOOOOOOOO!!!!!! It was so surreal. A few days later I find out the same picture is in Entertainment Weekly (who got my name wrong by the way) and again in Rolling Stone and again in the New York Post and again in the NY Times and again on Spotify!!

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Precise On Set of Empire

I want to taper my excitement and play it down a little because I didn’t have a speaking role and who knows how long I will even flash up on the screen, but I can’t. I feel so very fortunate and it feels like a sign for me to keep pushing forward and following my dreams. This is exactly what I intend to do. I want to thank God for this opportunity, I am so grateful. I would also like to thank the Academy in advance for my Oscar **wink**.
Hope you guys watch the season premier of Empire tonight and if you see me hit me up on twitter and instagram @Precise_chi or my Facebook fan page Precise.
Stay Focused Positive and Productive
-Precise

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Watching Tv While Black – The Empire Scandal

Ok I get it. The Cosby show is no longer on television. Serious allegations are swirling around someone many considered the nations dad. Positive representation of African Americans are almost non-existent. The Oscars are too white according to most media outlets and Iggy Azalea and Macklemore are stealing Hip Hop. OK I GET IT!!

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The truth of the matter is that all forms of media are influential and have an effect on our psyches. With that being said, I have a confession to make.

Hello ….My name is Precise and I watch Scandal and Empire. 

Now that I have confessed to the world one of my deepest darkest secrets allow me to say that even though I watch these shows I am STILL a BLACK MAN and an Awesome guy.

For some reason there is a divide in our community. Those who label themselves “conscious” have a total disdain for these telvision shows and feel like they are setting black people back 100’s of years.

Many black men have decided that these shows are for women, and if a man watches them his masculinity is questionable.

WTF?

Look…some of you take yourselves much to seriously. I agree that the portrayal of black people on television leaves a lot to be desired. Around the world we are viewed a specific way because of what is being fed through the media. It is important for us to take responsibility with regards to this.

Shonda Rhimes and Lee Daniels have taken some of this responsibility and boldly share a narrative of our lives that is complex and interesting.

I don’t know about you but I like to peel back the layers of who we are. It’s interesting and our experience extends past the history of slavery and civil rights.

We all have complexities and quirks. Just because I’m black doesn’t mean I should have to watch Eyes On The Prize  and Hidden Colors Vol 1, 2 and 3 all the time.

I like watching television with my 5k friends on Fb and sharing reactions in my status. I don’t post “spoilers” contrary to what some people (my sister) may think. Wendsday and Thursday nights are cool. It gives us the opportunity to come together and share something, even if it’s just a television show.

Precise

What do you think about Empire and Scandal? Do you feel these shows are horrible or great? Let me know in the comments. 🙂

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