The Tuesday morning attack on Empire star Jussie Smollett is now been investigated by the FBI.
A spokesperson for the Chicago Police Department told CNN that the bureau became involved shortly after news reports surfaced. A dozen detectives helped canvas the neighborhood where the incident happened, but they could not find video nor images of the attack.
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According to police, Smollett was brutally beaten by men, who also hurled racist and homophobic slurs, in what they’re calling a “possible hate crime” at around 2 a.m. Tuesday morning. The men also put a noose around the actor’s neck. Reportedly, he was grabbing a bite to eat at a local Subway when he was attacked.
Luckily, Smollett was able to get himself to a hospital where he received treatment for his injuries shortly after.
So far the only image associated with the attack was retrieved from security cameras, and was taken from inside the Subway. It only shows Smollett standing by himself.
Chicago police told CNN that Smollett initially did not tell them about the heinous comments hurled at him — such as “This is MAGA country” — when he initially reported the crime. Investigators reached out to him after hearing about them in the media. Smollett then confirmed what his attackers said in an ancillary interview with agents assigned to the case.
A rep for Smollett had no comment, but did tell ESSENCE Wednesday that a donation page has been set up in Smollett’s name at the Black AIDS Institute as the actor is passionate about ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Our thought and prayers are with Smollett, and all those who love him.