The Chicago Police Department has identified the two people of interest on surveillance footage linked with the hate crime assault on Jussie Smollett. Now the Chicago PD has declared that these men have not been charged with anything but are being questioned. Their names are still being kept secret. However, TMZ indicated that one of the assailants was an actor who appeared on the television show Empire.
The police picked up both suspects as they were entering Chicago again via an airport. The police caught them on Wednesday night, the day before Valentine’s Day. Police were relentless in their pursuit of these persons of interest. They used their rideshare and taxi records to hunt them down and catch them before they were able to flee the city of Chicago.
The incident occurred late at night when actor Jussie Smollett was walking home from a Subway. It was 2 am on January 29. The attackers beat him, poured bleach on him and then put a noose around his neck. This was clearly a hate crime and one steeped in racist history and propaganda.
On Thursday, Smollett made it clear that he gave the police the “best description” he could so they could hunt down the pair of men who assaulted him. When the police showed him the surveillance footage, he was able to declare that they were the ones who attacked him and tied a noose around his neck.
Although Smollett suffered injuries compatible with what he said happened, the Chicago Police did not believe that he was attacked. They recently started questioning him about whether it ever happened. Smollett spoke about the attack on Thursday and confronted the skeptics who cast doubt on his claims about the attack. He gave his first interview since suffering the horrendous hate crime and spoke to Good Morning America.
Smollett said he “never” had “any doubt” that the ones who attacked him were the same one ins the surveillance footage. He felt hopeful when the Chicago PD released the men’s images after the attack because he thought justice would be served. Instead, the police questioned Smollett’s story because there is no footage of the actual attack.
On Thursday, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi wrote the following statement on Twitter: “Through a meticulous investigation, Chicago Police detectives have identified the persons of interest in the area of the alleged attack of the Empire cast member. These individuals are not yet suspected but were in area of concern and are being questioned. Investigation continues.”
A few minutes later, he posted another tweet: “The people of interest are alleged to be in the area where the crime was reported.”
Smollett spoke to Good Morning American for an hour. Part of the interview aired on Thursday.
Smollett worries that because his attackers were white Trump supporters, the Chicago Police Department is not taking his report as seriously. He also believes he was targeted because he is a vocal critic of the president.
What is your reaction to hearing about this hate crime?
Every time you share an AWM story, you help build a home for a disabled veteran.