Attorneys representing actor Jussie Smollett are calling for his release from jail, claiming that he has received "dangerous threats" in a legal filing this week, Rolling Stone reports.
According to Smollett's lawyers, one of the actor's siblings received a call on Friday to the number that was given to the jail as Smollett's emergency contact after he was taken into custody last Thursday.
"I hope what they do to that guy in jail — here's what they're going to do, right. They're going to take a broom handle and take that little [expletive], shove it in there, and he's gonna go, '[shrieking sound],'" a male-sounding voice says in the call, according to a video shared with Rolling Stone by Smollett’s legal team.
The magazine notes that the caller appears to be referencing the 1997 assault on Abner Louima by a longtime New York Police Department officer while he was in police custody.
Smollett's attorneys said that his sibling received numerous similar calls on Friday. In a court filing on Monday, his lawyers claim that he has also received "vicious threats" on social media that "no doubt reflects the hatred and wish for physical harm toward Smollett which he may experience during incarceration."
They also claim that their client essentially is being kept in "solitary confinement" because of his detention in "protective custody," which they claim could cause “extraordinary damage on his mental health." The attorneys also said that Smollett has a "compromised immune system" that makes the "potential exposure" to COVID-19 a "serious health risk."
Smollett currently is being held in a jail operated by the Cook County Sheriff’s office, which told the Chicago Tribune earlier this week that while the actor was put in housing that is frequently used for prisoners who require mental health assistance, "it would be inaccurate and irresponsible to make any assumption about his mental or medical condition based on where he is currently housed."
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