Jussie Smollett attack update: Police release CCTV showing persons of interest
Chicago police have released an update on the investigation into the attack on Empire actor Jussie Smollett, releasing photos of two potential persons of interest in the case.
Police and the FBI are still investigating the attack, which took place in the early hours of Tuesday (January 29) in Chicago.
Out TV star Smollett, who plays a high-profile gay character on Fox show Empire, was hospitalised after the violent incident, in which he was reportedly branded a “faggot Empire n****r” and had a noose tied around his neck by two men.
Jussie Smollett attack: CCTV shows two figures near location of attack
There have been no arrests following the incident, but police have now released CCTV stills of two figures who are potential persons of interest in the case.
The footage shows two men dressed in black walking together along a street with their faces obscured from view.
Chicago Police communications officer Anthony Guglielmi tweeted a Jussie Smollett attack update on Wednesday (January 30), issuing an appeal for help finding the “potential persons of interest wanted for questioning in reference to the assault.”
He added: “Detectives are taking this development seriously & wish to question individuals as more cameras are being reviewed.”
The police department later issued a community alert that states: “On January 29, 2019, in the 300 block of East Lower North Water St., at approximately 2:00 a.m., the victim returned to his residence when he reported that he was attacked by two male subject(s) who struck the victim several times and knocked him to ground.
“During the course of the incident, the victim stated that the subject(s) placed a rope around his neck and poured an unknown liquid substance on him.
“The subject(s) fled the area where the attack occurred.
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“Detectives are seeking to identify and interview the two subject(s) depicted in the pictures above, walking on New St. near Illinois, between 1:30 a.m. to 1:45 a.m. in order to determine whether they may have any involvement in the reported incident, or if they may have witnessed the incident.”
Jussie Smollett attack: Police appeal for help
In a previous statement, Chicago PD said: “Detectives are currently working to gather video, identify potential witnesses and establish an investigative timeline.
“The victim is fully cooperating with investigators and we ask anyone with information about this incident to contact Area Central Detectives at 312-747-8382 or report it anonymously to www.cpdtip.com.”
ThatGrapeJuice, the first outlet to report the attack, alleged that a threatening letter was sent to Smollett days before the attack that reads: “You will die black fag.”
The envelope featured the acronym ‘MAGA,’ which stands for the pro-Trump slogan “Make America Great Again.”