"Personally, it was incredibly shocking on day one to see the police department call it a racist and homophobic attack. Their first statement — they exclusively said that, said they’re investigating it as a victim case," Stafford said. "As someone that has been investigating these for years in Chicago, that was really unprecedented before."
Stafford went on to say that the Chicago P.D. essentially played into the victim narrative against Smollett in order to spring a trap on him.
"And a lot of the time people in the background were worried they were leaning into this victim part of the story because they didn’t believe him and they wanted to use it against him at the end when they were able to prove that he was lying," Stafford continued.
The Chicago P.D.'s past record of leaking information, they have a history of lying to the population..
"The police were openly confirming and not confirming certain reports and not doing it to other parts of the story, and so, due to the vocal nature in this case, it was really peculiar," Stafford said. "Chicago has a deep history of openly lying to citizens. This police department did in 2016, openly through their union, support Donald Trump."
"The central question of this case was, 'Are Donald Trump supporters out here committing hate crimes?' And that’s what really sparked a lot of the tension," Stafford said. "To have a police department that hasn’t been as cooperative as they have been this round, do not openly give information, do openly lie and mishold information in cases and then to know that they…have openly supported Donald Trump in the 2016 election, a lot of activists on the ground are saying, 'Wait, what’s going on here? Who do we believe out of these two suspect people.'"
"Jussie may have created this whole situation to highlight a reality that is happening every day," he said. "Our current administration doesn’t support people like him — that are black and queer."