In The Know

Chicago police find ‘persons of interest’ in ‘Empire’ actor’s assault

Chicago police say they haven’t yet found any video footage showing “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett being attacked by two masked men he says shouted racist, homophobic and pro-Trump language at him, though authorities later added they have surveillance images of potential “persons of interest.”

A police spokesman told The Associated Press that they have “for the most part” confirmed the route Smollett says he took, but noted there are gaps in surveillance footage so far.

“Detectives located a surveillance camera that shows potential persons of interest wanted for questioning in reference to the assault & battery of Empire actor,” the spokesman tweeted later.

Smollett, who is black and gay, told police that he had been struck repeatedly in the face by two assailants who also tied a thin rope around his neck while shouting racist and homophobic slurs.

{mosads}“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 The Hill on Tuesday.

“We can not confirm what the offenders stated,” the spokesperson added when asked about reports the attackers yelled “This is MAGA [Make America Great Again] country.”

Police said Tuesday that they were investigating the case as a “possible hate crime.”

Several Democratic lawmakers condemned the alleged attack on Twitter, including contenders for the 2020 presidential nomination.

“This is a sickening and outrageous attack, and horribly, it’s the latest of too many hate crimes against LGBTQ people and people of color. We are all responsible for condemning this behavior and every person who enables or normalizes it. Praying for Jussie and his family,” wrote Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) on Twitter.

“This is so heartbreaking. @JussieSmollett, you are not alone – we are with you,” added Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii). “We must stand up and condemn this hate, bigotry & violence wherever it rears its ugly head. No one should live in fear because of the color of their skin or who they love.” 

—Updated at 6:12 p.m.

Tags Chicago Hate crime Kirsten Gillibrand Police Tulsi Gabbard

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