Published: Fri, February 01, 2019
Culture | By Jeremy Gray

Police release images of ‘people of interest’ in Jussie Smollett attack

Police release images of ‘people of interest’ in Jussie Smollett attack

Detectives have recovered more surveillance footage of "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett walking in downtown Chicago before and after he says he was attacked by two masked men, including video of him arriving home with a rope around his neck, but they're still searching for footage of the attack, a police spokesman said Thursday.

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.

Smollett - an actor on the Fox series "Empire" - was allegedly ambushed early Tuesday by a pair of attackers who placed a rope around his neck, poured an unidentified substance on him and yelled homophobic and racial slurs at him, according to police.

"In the early hours of Tuesday morning, our beloved son and brother, Jussie, was the victim of a violent and unprovoked attack", the statement begins.

After the attack, the actor was able to return to his apartment where his manager called the police. "We are so grateful that God saw him through this cowardly attack alive", the statement continued. "While video does not capture an encounter, detectives are taking this development seriously & wish to question individuals as more cameras are being reviewed", Chicago Police tweeted late yesterday.

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In regards to his recovery, Howard said: "I heard he's getting better, you know he's angry but I know Jussie, and Jussie's anger will dissipate and he will forgive these people for what they did".

US President Donald Trump, expressed sympathy for Smollett on Thursday. "We, as a family, will continue to work for love, equity and justice until it reigns supreme in our nation and world". Police have said that the video shows Smollett, who walks out of frame and when he's back in, he is seen "wearing a rope like a neck tie".

Smollett was transported to Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital. But when detectives followed up with Smollett later on Tuesday, he recalled the offenders making those comments, and detectives completed a supplemental report.

In a follow-up interview with the Chicago Police Department, Smollett confirmed to investigators he heard the attackers shout "MAGA country". The president's remarks came after Chicago Police released shadowy images of two men caught on surveillance camera near the spot where the actor said he was attacked.

The FBI is leading the investigation into the letter, he added. Smollett's representative said his concert scheduled for Saturday in Los Angeles will go on as planned.

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