Chicago police probe 'possible hate crime' against 'Empire' star Jussie Smollett
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The Chicago Police Department says it’s investigating an attack against Jussie Smollett as a “possible hate crime” after the “Empire” actor had a rope tied around his neck and an “unknown chemical substance” poured on him.

According to police, Smollett was walking in Chicago at 2 a.m. on Tuesday when strangers approached him and began screaming racial and homophobic slurs towards him.


“The offenders began to batter the victim with their hands about the face and poured an unknown chemical substance on the victim,” Chicago Police told ITK in a statement.

“At some point during the incident, one of the offenders wrapped a rope around the victims neck,” before fleeing the scene, according to authorities.

TMZ reported Tuesday that the two suspects referenced President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he will 'temporarily hold off' on declaring Mexican drug cartels as terror organization House Judiciary Committee formally receives impeachment report Artist behind gold toilet offered to Trump sells banana duct-taped to a wall for 0,000 MORE’s 2016 “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) campaign slogan during the alleged ambush, yelling, “This is MAGA country.”

"We can not confirm what the offenders stated," a Chicago Police Department spokesman told ITK when asked about any MAGA-related language in the attack.

Smollett transported himself to Northwestern Hospital and is listed in good condition. The 36-year-old actor is fully cooperating with investigators, and police — who call the case a “possible racially-charged assault and battery — are asking anyone with information to contact them.

A rep for Smollett didn’t respond to ITK’s request for comment.

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandWhite House, Congress near deal to give 12 weeks paid parental leave to all federal workers Bloomberg on 2020 rivals blasting him for using his own money: 'They had a chance to go out and make a lot of money' Harris posts video asking baby if she'll run for president one day MORE (D-N.Y.) condemned the attack on Twitter, calling it "the latest of too many hate crimes against LGBTQ people and people of color."

Smollett was one of several high-profile performers who appeared in a 2016 campaign ad for then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonYang expands campaign with senior hires for digital operations Top GOP legislator in California leaves party GOP senators request interview with former DNC contractor to probe possible Ukraine ties MORE.

In a 2017 music video for his song “F.U.W.” that Smollett directed, a man in a wheelchair is shown rolling over a mask of Trump’s face.

—Updated at 1:54 p.m.