Kamala Harris: Violent attack on ‘Empire’ star is ‘attempted modern day lynching’

Kamala Harris: Violent attack on ‘Empire’ star is ‘attempted modern day lynching’
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Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden formally clinches Democratic presidential nomination Kamala Harris to Trump: 'Keep George Floyd's name out of your mouth' New England Patriots owner pledges M to social justice causes MORE (D-Calif.) condemned the violent attack on actor Jussie Smollett, calling it “an attempted modern day lynching.”

“[Smollett] is one of the kindest, most gentle human beings I know. I’m praying for his quick recovery,” the 2020 presidential candidate tweeted.

“This was an attempted modern day lynching. No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate.”

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Harris also told reporters Tuesday after hearing of the incident that the attack was “awful” and “outrageous.”

The Chicago Police Department said Tuesday that it was investigating the attack as a “possible hate crime.”

Police said Smollett had a rope tied around his neck and an “unknown chemical substance” poured on him during the attack, which occurred around 2 a.m. Tuesday.

Smollett’s attackers yelled racial and homophobic slurs, according to police.

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerPaul clashes with Booker, Harris over anti-lynching bill Democratic senators kneel during moment of silence for George Floyd Rand Paul holding up quick passage of anti-lynching bill MORE (D-N.J.) echoed Harris's comments, tweeting: "The vicious attack on actor Jussie Smollett was an attempted modern-day lynching. I'm glad he's safe."

Booker also urged his fellow lawmakers to support a bill designating lynching as a federal hate crime.

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandWarren, Pressley introduce bill to make it a crime for police officers to deny medical care to people in custody Senate Dems press DOJ over coronavirus safety precautions in juvenile detention centers Senate Democrat introduces bill to protect food supply MORE (D-N.Y.) also tweeted that she is “praying for Jussie and his family.”

“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,” she tweeted. “We are all responsible for condemning this behavior and every person who enables or normalizes it.”