Chicago Police Searching for "Persons of Interest" in Jussie Smollett Attack

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Jussie Smollett

"Detectives located a surveillance camera that shows potential persons of interest wanted for questioning in reference to the assault & battery of 'Empire' actor," police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted.

Chicago police are looking for potential "persons of interest" in the investigation into the attack on Empire actor Jussie Smollett after locating a surveillance camera.

"Detectives located a surveillance camera that shows potential persons of interest wanted for questioning in reference to the assault & battery of 'Empire' actor," police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted Wednesday. “A community alert w/ photos is being constructed and will be disseminated shortly.”

A few hours later, Guglielmi released photos of the people of interest in the vicinity of the alleged assault and battery. "While video does not capture an encounter, detectives are taking this development seriously & wish to question individuals as more cameras are being reviewed," the chief communications officer wrote.

Smollett was attacked Tuesday morning after leaving a restaurant on the 300 block of East North Water Street. According to the police, two suspects yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him before punching him, pouring a chemical substance over him and tying a rope around his neck.

The suspects were described by police to The Hollywood Reporter as two males wearing black clothing. One offender was wearing a black mask. There were no other identifying characteristics. Police later confirmed that Smollett told them his attackers yelled pro-"Make America Great Again" (MAGA) comments during the attack, such as "MAGA country!" 

Chicago police told THR that the incident is being investigated as a possible hate crime "given the severity of the allegations." The actor plays a gay musician named Jamal Lyon on Empire. Smollett himself has said he identifies as gay but keeps his personal life private.

Smollett has been hospitalized for his injuries; representatives have not provided an update on his condition.