Billboard News Today
Chicago police released surveillance images Wednesday (Jan. 30), depicting two potential persons of interest in the alleged attack on Empire actor Jussie Smollett.
Chicago PD Chief Communications Officer Anthony Guglielmi tweeted the photos of two seemingly masked men wearing all black walking in the city’s Streeterville section near Smollett’s home on Tuesday. “While video does not capture an encounter, detectives are taking this development seriously & wish to question individuals as more cameras are being reviewed,” Guglielmi wrote.
Police reported that the actor was targeted in what is believed to be a hate crime around 2 a.m. after having a late night meal at a nearby Subway. The two suspects allegedly yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him, physically assaulted the actor and poured an “unknown chemical substance” on him after wrapping a rope around his neck. According to the Chicago Tribune, CNN anchor Don Lemon reported that he had spoken to Smollett himself, who confirmed the attack.
TMZ reported the two assailants were white men wearing ski masks to conceal their faces, who allegedly yelled “This is MAGA country” before they fled the scene. Police did not confirm the reference to President Donald Trump’s “Make American Great Again” campaign slogan.