Police in Chicago has released photos of persons of interest in the investigation of the alleged homophobic and racist attack on Jussie Smollet.
“Detectives located a surveillance camera that shows potential persons of interest wanted for questioning in reference to the assault & battery of Empire actor,” said Chief Communications Officer of Chicago Police, Anthony Guglielmi, Ion Twitter.
Photos of people of interest who were in area of the alleged assault & battery of Empire cast member. While video does not capture an encounter, detectives are taking this development seriously & wish to question individuals as more cameras are being reviewed pic.twitter.com/xJDDygtocr
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) January 31, 2019
In the photos release by police, two men in dark clothing are seen walking along a Chicago street.
Jussie Smollett, who plays Jamal Lyon in Fox’s drama series Empire was hospitalized following an attack in Chicago at 2:00 am on Tuesday morning.
Smollett was approached by two men wearing ski masks who yelled racist and homophobic slurs at the actor. They then put a noose around his neck and proceeded to punch him, before pouring a chemical substance on him.
According to Smollet’s Manager, who was on the phone to him at the time of the attack, the men were yelling “This is MAGA country”, in reference to Donald Trump’s presidential slogan “Make America Great Again”.
It has also been reported that Fox News received a threatening letter addressed to Smollett days before the attack which said, “You will die black fag”.
Smollett has since been discharged and is in “good condition”, and is continuing to work with police and detectives.
Since news of the attack broke, celebrities and politicians alike have condemned the nature of the assault, while offering support and well wishes to Smollett, who came out as gay on The Ellen Show in 2015.
View this post on Instagram
THIS HATE CRIME against our brother @jussiesmollett is proof that no matter how famous you may be it still does not protect you from vicious racist homophobes !! AND It is still a risk daily to be a BLACK , OUT , and PROUD human being . I am sending so much love to you Jussie . Praying for your healing . Thank you for being such an inspiration to me & soooooo mannnnny people . Thank you for inspiring us to walk in our truth . Thank you for choosing freedom over fear . I will continue to walk BOLD , BLACK , & PROUD in your honor always . 🖤🌈 With love from your bi/pan/queer/free ass mothafucka sis This pic is of me thanking him for sending flowers after the RS article (which gave me great anxiety btw). What a kind kind kind soul .
Fox, the network which airs Empire, said it was “saddened and outraged”:
“We send our love to Jussie, who is resilient and strong, and we will work with law enforcement to bring these perpetrators to justice.
“The entire studio, network and production stand united in the face of any despicable act of violence and hate — and especially against one of our own.”
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