Authorities have released two surveillance images showing two persons of interest in the reported assault of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett.
Chicago police have released low-resolution images showing two people they’re seeking to identify and interview in connection with Tuesday’s incident. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, police said they were walking on New Street near Illinois Street between 1:30 a.m. and 1:45 a.m, around the time and about a block away from where Smollett claimed he was attacked.
BREAKING: Chicago Police release two photos of potential persons of interest in the Jussie Smollett investigation and issue a community alert. pic.twitter.com/lmFJpWQvI0
— Rob Elgas (@RobElgasABC7) January 31, 2019
“While the video footage does not depict an assault, the individuals pictured are seen in the vicinity of the alleged criminal incident during the alleged time of occurrence,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. “Detectives are taking this investigation seriously and urging anyone with any information on the identity of these individuals to contact Area Central detectives.”
According to TMZ, Smollett was exiting a Chicago Subway restaurant at 2 a.m. Tuesday when one of two men in ski masks asked him, “Aren’t you that f****t ‘Empire’ n****r?” before they both attacked the openly gay, black actor. Reports indicated that the men also tied a noose around his neck and dumped a liquid, possibly bleach, on him before fleeing the scene.
The attack reportedly came days after a threatening letter was sent to Fox Studios in Chicago and was specifically addressed to Smollett. The alleged letter in question, obtained by ThatGrapeJuice.net, reads, “You will die black f*g,” in cut-and-paste magazine clippings. The letter apparently also appears to show a red stick figure being shot with a gun. ABC News reported that the envelope contained a powdery substance that was likely Tylenol.
As of Thursday afternoon, police haven’t released surveillance footage of the reported attack or the events leading up to it. According to the Chicago Tribune, Guglielmi said they’re still reviewing footage, which they hope they can use to “follow” the possible persons of interest’s paths.
Does this say "MAGA" up the top? pic.twitter.com/immIc4pQcU
— Yoongi's giggle (@jsmith189) January 29, 2019
[Featured Image: Jussie Smollett/zz/Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx/AP]