Yonkers councilman decries Smollett for alleged hate crime hoax

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YONKERS -

Yonkers Democratic City Councilman Michael Sabatino says “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett’s alleged hate crime hoax my make it difficult for hate crime victims to come forward.

"We don't need someone creating a hate crime, so that the next person might not feel, or they may not be considered legitimate," says Sabatino.

The actor claims he was recently attacked and beaten by two men in Chicago who were shouting racial and homophobic slurs. Smollett also claims the men tied a noose around his neck and poured bleach on him.

MORE: 'Empire' producers cut Smollett from season's last episodes 

But Chicago police say it was all a hoax orchestrated by Smollett to try and get a raise. The actor was arrested, accused of filing a false police report Thursday and released on $100,000 bond.

Sabatino says there is no question hate crimes are on the rise in the U.S., and he blames it squarely on the Trump administration.

"People feel emboldened that they can just say whatever they want," says the councilman.

President Donald Trump went on the attack on Twitter.

Sabatino says he is hopeful the country can find a way to stop the real hate crimes, and come together.

 

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