Beyoncé’s mother, Tina Lawson, has called Jussie Smollett’s imprisonment for faking a hate crime against himself a “racist act”.
Empire Star Smollett, 39, was released from Cook County Jail in Chicago on Wednesday pending appeal, less than a week after a judge sentenced him to 150 days behind bars.
The actor was convicted in December of lying to police about being the victim of an alleged racist and homophobic attack on the streets of Chicago in 2019.
In the hours before Smollett was released, Lawson spoke out against the sentence given to him, saying the sentence was disproportionate to the crime.
Sharing a photo from last Thursday of Smollett during her sentencing hearing, the matriarch wrote: “It doesn’t matter what your opinion is that Jussie [Smollett] did or did not do what he is accused of. The punishment does not fit the crime.”
Lawson went on to discuss those who killed black people and “walk free,” as well as “those involved in treason in the White House,” in reference to the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot.
“People get away with not killing our people every day,” she continued. “How many cases of our young black people were murdered in the last year, and the people they were with are free! And what about the people involved in the treason in the White House? Most have gone unpunished!
“And then they give this man five months in prison. Are you kidding me? This is unfair. This man is not a threat to society. He is an example of the disparities between the way we are treated compared to our white counterparts.”
“Black people, we can’t afford to miss this!” Lawson continued. “Believe me, you and your family could be next! So let’s make some noise about it and ask for probation!”
During Smollett’s sentencing, Judge James Linn issued a damning assessment of the case, calling the movie star a “charlatan” whose “hypocrisy is simply staggering”.
The judge also sentenced Smollett to 30 months felony probation with no travel restrictions and ordered him to pay $120,106 in restitution to the City of Chicago and a $25,000 fine.
Continuing his message, Lawson said, “The judge was obviously biased and very disrespectful and they wanted to disrespect and discredit District Attorney Kim Foxx who is a black woman.”
During an initial police investigation into whether Smollett fabricated his attack, Foxx and the state’s attorney’s office dropped all charges against him in 2019, in exchange for the actor doing community service. general. The investigation was later taken over by Special Prosecutor Dan Webb, which led to Smollett’s conviction.
“Please do your research on the case and look at the crime he’s charged with and look at the time he’s been given,” Lawson added. “[T]they want to destroy this man.”
She concluded: “Black people are waking up don’t let them do this this is the start of something very dangerous for our people make some noise sign petitions call politicians in your jurisdiction please.
“Please call your congressman and sign petitions. Don’t let them get away with this racist act!”
Newsweek contacted the Cook County Circuit Court for comment.
On Wednesday, the Illinois Court of Appeals ordered Smollett released from jail after accepting $150,000 bond.
Reacting to the news, Smollett’s attorney, Nenye Uche, said in a statement shared on the actor’s Instagram account, “I’ll put it in layman’s terms and not in legal language: the case sucks, the case is wrong against him, and they released him.
“And that says a lot about what the appeals court thinks about this case.”
However, Uche added that they ‘still have a long battle ahead of us’.