As the case against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett continues to develop, a significant percentage of U.S. voters feel “more and more hate crimes” are turning out to be “hoaxes.”
A new Rasmussen poll released on Monday reveals that while a majority of Americans (48%) say the number of hate crimes in the country is growing, “nearly as many (40%) think more and more hate crimes are hoaxes by people for personal or political advantage.”
Twelve percent (12%) poll “undecided.”
The data also shows that a majority of Americans (55%) “believe blacks and other minorities are better off in America than in most of the rest of the world.”
“Just 15% think they’re worse off here, while 21% say the treatment of minorities here is about the same as in the rest of the world,” Rasmussen reports.
Most voters (76%) agree that hate crimes are a serious problem in America today.
The poll results come as Mr. Smollett faces charges of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report in which he claimed he was a victim of an attack by two men who beat him and shouted racist and homophobic slurs.
While Smollett continues to deny the charges, Chicago Police maintain that Smollett is a suspect in its ongoing investigation, accusing Smollett of paying the two men – two Nigerian brothers, one which Smollett said he was hiring as his personal trainer – to stage the attack. Police say the two brothers have confessed to the scheme. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson in an interview Monday morning said that police have “a lot more evidence that hasn't been presented yet” to support the charges.