Jussie Smollett thinks the nationwide protests over George Floyd's killing in police custody relate to his case with the City of Chicago ... because he claims the city's trying to cover up for lying police.
The former "Empire" star is still in a legal battle with Chicago, which is suing him for $130k to recover the cost of investigating what authorities say was a fake "attack" -- and Jussie says he wants information the City is refusing to hand over.
According to new legal docs, obtained by TMZ, Smollett says ... "As we see millions across the country rise up to protest and expose police misconduct, the City, by its refusal to produce the requested documents, is choosing to actively resist a citizen’s lawful efforts to reveal dishonesty."
Jussie's specifically seeking documents about the termination of Chicago PD Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who he says was involved in his case from the get-go ... so his firing is relevant to Jussie's defense.
The City of Chicago, on the other hand, maintains the case is about Smollett lying to cops, not Johnson, and is opposing Jussie's request.
Jussie maintains his innocence, though, adding ... "the City and CPD knew Mr. Smollett was innocent, and that the City has relentlessly pursued Mr. Smollett even after the charges against Mr. Smollett were dismissed."
As we've reported, the initial criminal charges against Jussie for allegedly staging a hate crime hoax were dismissed, but new charges were handed down in a 6-count indictment in February.