Actor and activist Jussie Smollett. Photo: Gary Gershoff/WireImage

"Empire" actor Jussie Smollett has been charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report, a Class 4 felony, weeks after he reported he was the victim of a hate crime, Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Thursday evening.

The details: "Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest," Guglielmi tweeted. Smollett, who's black and gay, told police on Jan. 29 that he was attacked in Chicago by two people who yelled homophobic and racist slurs. But in recent days, the case took a strange turn amid reports that detectives were considering whether the attack was a hoax.

Detectives have released two men — brothers who know Smollett — after identifying them as potential suspects last week. Investigators have also discovered that the men purchased the rope that was used in the alleged attack.

  • Per ABC 7 Chicago, Smollett is due in court for a bond hearing at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in Chicago.

Smollett’s attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson released a statement Wednesday night:

"Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked. Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and mount and aggressive defense."

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  4. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000.
  5. Public health: Trump's coronavirus testing czar says lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table" — We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  6. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."
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Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases

Data: Covid Tracking Project; Chart: Axios Visuals

Florida reported 15,299 confirmed coronavirus cases on Sunday — a new single-day record for any state, according to its health department.

The big picture: The figure shatters both Florida's previous record of 11,458 new cases and the single-state record of 11,694 set by California last week, according to AP. It also surpasses New York's daily peak of 11,571 new cases in April, and comes just a day after Disney World reopened in Orlando.

Pelosi: Trump is "messing with the health of our children" with push to open schools

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' aggressive push to fully reopen schools this fall is "malfeasance and dereliction of duty," accusing the Trump administration of "messing with the health of our children."

Why it matters: Trump has demanded that schools reopen as part of his efforts to juice the economy by allowing parents to return to work, despite caution from health officials that little is known about how the virus impacts children.