Chicago Police Are Looking for Two 'Persons of Interest' Possibly Connected to Jussie Smollett Attack

Illustration for article titled Chicago Police Are Looking for Two Persons of Interest Possibly Connected to Jussie Smollett Attackem/em
Image: Getty

Police have released some vey blurry surveillance photos of two people they’d like to speak to in connection with the attack against Empire actor Jussie Smollett.

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According to the Chicago Sun-Times, police are not referring to the figures in the photos as “suspects,” but “persons of interest.” At this point, they’re trying to locate the pair to see if they were involved in or witnessed the brutal attack against Smollet that happened in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood early Tuesday.

Smollet told police his attackers approached him “by yelling out racial and homophobic slurs towards him,” then hit him in the face, poured bleach on him and put a rope around his neck. The incident is being investigated as a hate crime.

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Here are the images, for...whatever they’re worth:

Smollett told police that the attackers were white, wearing ski masks and dressed in all black clothing. In a second statement, he added that they yelled “this is MAGA country” following the assault.

Smollett’s manager, Brandon Moore, told Variety that he was on the phone with Smollett at the time, and said he heard the slurs. “I heard that clearly. I heard the scuffle and I heard the racial slur,” he said.

Night blogger at Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

andrewv4
Cheese Knee II

It’s really disappointing that a lot of people don’t believe this happened as reported.

For those who think this is far-fetched... it sounds like you, fortunately, have never had to face the nightmare of a stalker and the multiple horrors that entails. The stalkers that feel like they’ve been wronged by you somehow, or deserve something, are the most frightening. And some of the things they do can defy belief.

Regardless, Jussie’s manager was on the phone and witnessed the slurs as they were said. As well, it would be very easy for the police to confirm bleach was poured on him, and police most likely would have searched the area for evidence - like a bottle - that would have fingerprints. A simple medical examination would show contusions and abrasions from a rope. Even if very faint and not visible to the eye, even the slightest bruises would show up under different wavelengths and polarities when photographed for evidence.

If this attack had been faked, it would be pretty easy to prove, and quickly.

It sounds like the police are looking into this because they’ve decided the evidence does in fact point to outside interference.

I personally cannot see what would be the motive for two people to publically risk their careers and reputations, as well as risk being charged with filing a false police report, which I assume in the US could lead to jail time.

It bothers me that people just.. aren’t believed. Not women, not first nations, not POCs, not LGBTQI. No one is deemed credible enough by the court of public opinion.

And for what. For daring to exist in a world that inordinately targets them.