Last week, actor Jussie Smollett was attacked in what has been widely called a “hate crime.”
ICYMI: Smollett was on his way home from a sandwich shop at 2 AM in the Streeterville section of Chicago. He was allegedly assaulted by two men wearing white ski masks, yelling racial and homophobic slurs, tying a noose around his neck and dousing him with a chemical substance which was believed to be bleach.
Smollett returned to his apartment after the attack and his manager called police from there about 40 minutes later. When they arrived, he had cuts and scrapes on his face and the rope was still around his neck.
Chicago PD have looked through hundreds of hours of footage from over 20 surveillance cameras in the area according to spokesman Anthony Guglielmi and no images have been found showing the attack. They do have footage of the actor’s walk home.
Police released the grainy photo, above taken from a surveillance cameras, of two
“potential people of interest.”
A threatening letter was sent to the actor just days before the attack containing a white powder. A HAZMAT team was necessary, but it turned out to be aspirin. The letter was received on January 22 at Cinespace Studios, where Empire is filmed. It’s being investigated by the FBI.
Smollett has spoken out publicly about his attack,
“Let me start by saying that I’m OK. My body is strong but my soul is stronger. More importantly I want to say thank you. The outpouring of love and support from my village has meant more than I will ever be able to truly put into words.
I am working with authorities and have been 100% factual and consistent on every level. Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served.“
Smollett’s family — which includes actors Jake and Jurnee Smollett — released a statement,
“In the early hours of Tuesday morning, our beloved son and brother, Jussie, was the victim of a violent and unprovoked attack. We want to be clear, this was a racial and homophobic hate crime. Jussie has told the police everything from the very beginning. His story has never changed, and we are hopeful they will find these men and bring them to justice. Our family thanks everyone for their prayers and the huge amount of love he has received. We are thankful to our village for your immense support during this trying time. We are so grateful that God saw him through this cowardly attack alive. Jussie is a warrior whose light cannot be dimmed. We want people to understand these targeted hate crimes are happening to our sisters, brothers and our gender non-conforming siblings, many who reside within the intersection of multiple identities, on a monthly, weekly, and sometimes even daily basis all across our country. Oftentimes ending fatally, these are inhumane acts of domestic terrorism and they should be treated as such. They will continue to occur until we hold each other accountable. Make no mistake, words matter. Hateful words lead to hateful actions. Radical love is the only solution, but passivity will be our downfall. We, as a family, will continue to work for love, equity and justice until it reigns supreme in our nation and all over the world.“
Anyone with information is asked to call Area Central Detectives at 312-747-8382.
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