After Chicago activists were locked out of the courthouse during Smollett’s trial, the judge issued a statement stating that no one intended to ban him.


Chicago activists and writers were locked out of George N. Layton Criminal Court for two days during Jussie Smollett’s trial last week.

Judges said late Friday night, within an hour of Tribune’s report, that activist and rap artist Bella BAHHS (Black Ancestors Here Healing Society) was told that she was not allowed access to courts or courts. Announced.

Cook County Judge James Lin contacted the newspaper through a spokeswoman and emailed his position.

“For clarity, Hong. James Lin didn’t intend to ban anyone from the courtroom, but asked that the person in question not be in the first row,” read a statement in an email. .. “The courtroom is open to the public and COVID-19 precautions apply, limiting the number of courtrooms to 57.”

BAHHS told Tribune last week that he was asked to leave court shortly after interviewing a reporter in the lobby of the building.

In his testimony on Tuesday morning, BAHHS sat in the front row of Lin’s court with the Smollett family and was asked by Smollett’s media representative to talk to reporters in the court lobby during the lunch break.

She agreed and returned for afternoon testimony. Later that afternoon, she was told by a media representative that a judge wanted her to leave the courtroom. BAHHS said she was escorted from the court. She was escorted from the building again when she returned Thursday to attend the trial again.

In a statement, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office issued a “verbal” order banning Lin from “an individual sitting in a court gallery from the George N. Layton Criminal Court Building for the rest of Jussie Smollett’s trial.” I confirmed that it was released. The agent escorted this person according to the order.

BAHHS said the guards were armed and felt physically threatened and violated by her removal.

The BAHHS ban from the court came after Lin verbally instructed a lawyer not to talk to the media. The order was never detailed in writing.

BAHHS said she had not previously spoken to Smollett’s defense lawyer about her remarks to the media. She told the media representative what she was trying to say.

When asked about the statement by Tribune, BAHHS told reporters that he did not know that Smollett was a forgery of the story, but that he knew that “CPD was a division of that type.”

Within a few hours she was told she couldn’t be in court. BAHHS told the tribune at the time that he believed it was in his opinion.

“I don’t think he wanted me to be in that court because of my political view,” she said.

Born in Ambrell Gambrell, BAHHS is a rapper, artist and writer who interviewed Cook County lawyer Kim Foxx and Mayor Lori Lightfoot about TRiiBE, a digital media platform that grew up in the Austin area and covers the black experience in Chicago. .. ..

She is the founder of the Sister Survivor Network, an organization focused on the impact of imprisonment on black women and girls, and is promoting the replacement of criminal justice with the resources of non-legal enforcement agencies that address the roots. Abolitionist activist Cause of crime.

Lynn was asked by Tribune in the middle of the afternoon on Friday about both the order and the fact that BAHHS was removed from court.He did not respond in a statement until just before 9 pm

However, Lin addressed his concerns about the media on the day BAHHS was removed, after special counsel Dan Webb warned him of some “press issues.”

Lin first replied that the lawyer agreed not to comment or speak to the media.

“It’s not a gag order. It’s just an agreement between lawyers,” he said.

Lin went on to say he knew “what was said in the lobby” and then mentioned “self-proclaimed activists.”

“No one intends to get infected with this trial,” Lin said.

Arriving late Friday night, BAHHS said he didn’t believe it was a misunderstanding, noting that Lin had never spoken to her directly about it. She said that affirming what happened to the misunderstanding is also exempt from “because everyone is held accountable.”

“My right to vote and access to public spaces as a taxpayer has been violated,” she said.

BAHHS said before Lin issued a statement that her dismissal was of particular concern as it could limit and harm the public’s understanding of court proceedings.

“It’s about who can witness these public trials,” she said.