Police are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.
After reviewing surveillance footage of the attack on actor and singer Jussie Smollett, police have now identified potential persons of interest.
Chicago police released photos late Wednesday, with the pictures showing two silhouettes walking down a street late Tuesday morning according to ABC7 Chicago.
“Obviously the alleged statement of what happened here is horrific and there’s no place for it in the city of Chicago,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said during a Wednesday evening press briefing.
Following the incident, a neighbor of Smollett’s claimed that she saw a “redneck” loitering near the complex she and Smollett live at before the attack took place. Speaking to TMZ, the unidentified woman said she saw a man pacing back-and-forth between the parking garage and the entrance.
She also described what he was wearing, saying he had on a blue winter beanie, a blue zip-up hoodie sweatshirt, too-short blue jeans that exposed his “thick, grey hunting socks,” and camel-colored dress shoes.
The woman also noted that the man had a blue and white rope or clothesline hanging from his sweatshirt. Smollett claimed he was attacked with a noose.
Recently, the Chicago Police Department confirmed that the FBI is helping the department with their current investigation on the attack. The CPD is also investigating a letter threat sent to Smollett too. The letter threatening the actor and singer was sent to Fox studio in Chicago on January 22. It contained threatening language and was laced with a powdery substance that investigators believe was Tylenol.
Police said that they “are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime.” So far, police have only been able to find one image of Smollett in the area where he says he was attacked. The image was taken from inside a Subway near the location of the attack. Smollett wasn’t with anyone at the time.
“Chicago police detectives continue to investigate serious allegations of a potential racially charged hate crime that took place in the downtown area Tuesday morning around 2am,” Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said via CNN. “The Streeterville neighborhood where the alleged attack occurred has a very high density of city and private surveillance cameras. As of 10pm Tuesday, detectives canvassed and reviewed hundreds of hours of video and have now expanded the search area along the Chicago riverfront hoping to find video to be able to release a public description of the offenders.”
Although police have confirmed video footage of Smollett walking across the street from the two possible persons of interest, there isn’t video of the actual assault.
Source: ABC7 Chicago