Following the racist and homophobic attack on actor Jussie Smollett in Chicago late Monday night, the FBI is now investigating the incident.
Speaking with ABC News, the Chicago Police Department (CPD) confirmed that the FBI is helping the department with their current investigation. 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.”
TMZ reports two white men wearing ski masks violently attacked Smollett. The actor fought back, but was badly beaten and fractured a rib. The men also tied a rope around his neck, poured an unknown chemical substance on him, and yelled, “This is MAGA country.”
Source: ABC News