Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris weighs in on Jussie Smollett’s arrest for staging a hoax attack: This situation distracts from the truth about the increase in hate crimes.

Harris, who initially called the attack an “attempted modern-day lynching,” wrote in a Facebook post that she was “sad, frustrated and disappointed” over the reports about the Empire star’s staged attack. Harris stopped short of condemning the actor for his actions.”When anyone makes false claims to police, it not only diverts resources away from serious investigations but it makes it more difficult for other victims of crime to come forward.”

“At the same time, we must speak the truth: hate crimes are on the rise in America. Just last year, the FBI released statistics that revealed a 17 percent increase in the number of hate crimes in America.”

“Part of the tragedy of this situation is that it distracts from that truth, and has been seized by some who would like to dismiss and downplay the very real problems that we must address. We should not allow that. I will always condemn racism and homophobia. We must always confront hate directly, and we must always seek justice. That is what I will keep fighting for.”

Twitter unloaded on Smollett last weekend when it was becoming apparent that the attack was really a hoax. He was brutally mocked and called out for the hypocrisy. According to the State’s Attorney’s office, Smollett paid two Nigerian-American brothers $3,500 by check to stage the attack on himself because he was unhappy about his salary from the hit-show.