The world has been shocked by the apparent racist and homophobic attack on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett in Chicago. Thankfully, federal law enforcement was reportedly on the case and high-profile political figures like Sen. Kamala Harris have spoken out about it.
Chicago police confirmed the FBI is investigating the vicious attack on the 36-year-old actor, ABC News reported.
Bizarrely, the attack was still being framed as a possible hate crime but people like Sen. Kamala Harris are clear.
“@JussieSmollett is one of the kindest, most gentle human beings I know. I’m praying for his quick recovery,” she wrote on Twitter Tuesday. “This was an attempted modern day lynching. No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate.”
While walking to a Subway in Chicago, two men reportedly yelled racial and homophobic slurs at the 36-year-old actor after he exited the restaurant, investigators told The Hollywood Reporter. They punched him, allegedly poured bleach on him and one of the suspects also put a rope around his neck. As they fled the scene, Smollett told police they said, “This is MAGA country.”
“The rise in hate crimes is directly linked to President Donald J. Trump’s racist and xenophobic rhetoric,” the NAACP said in a statement. “It is dangerous for any society to allow a tone of divisiveness and hatred to dominate the political discourse. As this rhetoric continues to bleed into our everyday lives, dangerous behavior will continue to place many law abiding individuals at risk.”
Here’s a police statement about its investigation.
Investigators were gathering video evidence, identifying potential witnesses and establishing a timeline of the incident.
Threatening letters directed at Smollett were reportedly sent to Fox Studios in Chicago. The cutout letters said, “You will die black f**.” See below:
Smollett has starred on Fox’s popular series “Empire” since 2015. He plays Jamal, a successful singer in the musical Lyon family who is openly gay. He has been in the news recently for supporting Bennett College—an all-women HBCU that was on the brink of losing its accreditation.
Anyone with information about Tuesday’s reported attack was being asked to call Area Central Detectives at 312-747-8382.