Tina Knowles-Lawson, the former fashion designer and mother to Grammy award winners Beyoncé and Solange has some questions following actor Jussie Smollett ‘s recent conviction. The former “Empire” star was found guilty of five out of six counts of felony disorderly conduct related to falsely reporting he’d been the victim of a hate crime.
On Monday, Dec. 13, the 67-year-old took to her Instagram account, where she shared a screenshot of an opinion piece from CNN comparing the Smollett case to that of Amy Cooper. In a lengthy caption, Knowles-Lawson, known for posting corny jokes and vintage clips of her daughters throughout their careers, asked whether the 39-year-old actor would “get the same compassion as Amy Cooper?”
As Atlanta Black Star has previously covered, Cooper, who subsequently garnered the nickname “Central Park Karen,” made headlines in May 2020 after falsely calling the police on a Black birdwatcher in New York City’s famous Central Park, Christian Cooper, claiming he was threatening her. She was initially charged with a criminal misdemeanor, but the charge was later dropped.
Knowles-Lawson wrote that “The woman who called the police and lied about the black man that was Bird watching in Central Park was trying to attack her. Leading to the potential arrest of the man, where in the history of black men In Custody could have led to his death !! Amy Cooper got off with public service.”
Elsewhere the famous mom expressed that although she doesn’t condone what Smollet did, “I am just asking will he get the same compassion and understanding of knowingly lying to police. Kyle Rittenhouse walked free after killing two people because the jury had compassion?”
Social media users appeared to agree with Knowles-Lawson, including one user who wrote, “He need to just get probation. Ninjas lie daily. No one died.” Another person commented, “Not only that, but Amy cooper had the audacity to sue her employer for firing her.”
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Smollett’s case came to an end last Thursday, Dec. 9, after seven days of testimony and almost three years after the incident took place. Thirteen witnesses testified, including the actor, who is Black and openly gay, claimed he was the victim of a hate crime.
Although accounts of the incident have evolved, Smollett alleged that he was attacked in Jan. 29, 2019, by two masked white men who yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him on a city street in Chicago. The real culprits later were identified as brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo. The California native knew the two men and allegedly paid them $3,500 to help stage the attack.
Smollett is awaiting sentencing. He is looking at up to three years in prison.