Chicago police have identified "persons of interest" in the reported attack and possible hate crime against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett, a police spokesman said Thursday. 

"Detectives have identified the persons of interest in the area of the alleged attack of the Empire cast member," Anthony Guglielmi tweeted. "These individuals are not yet suspects but were in area of concern and are being questioned." 

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Smollett says he was was attacked by people who shouted racist and homophobic slurs at him. They reportedly tied a rope around Smollett's neck and poured an "unknown chemical substance" on him. 

In an interview that aired on Thursday prior to Guglielmi's tweet, Smollett broke his silence about the attack on "Good Morning America," saying he he really hopes his attackers are caught.   

"I want to believe, with everything that has happened, that there is something called justice," he said.

"I want young people, young members of the LGBTQ community, young black children to know how strong they are," Smollett added. 

He told "Good Morning America" host Robin Roberts that he often receives threatening messages on social media for being outspoken.