Late at night on January 29, Empire actor Jussie Smollett was walking alone downtown Chicago. He claims he was approached by two men, one wearing a black mask to conceal his face. The pair verbally called out Smollett for his race and sexuality. They then attacked him, beating him mercilessly and throwing an unknown substance in his face. Following more racial slurs, the two men tied a rope around Smollett’s face and ran away. Now the Chicago Police Department is looking into how true the actor’s attack story really was, according to Global News.
Smollett is a black man who identifies openly as being gay. He is also known for the gay character that he plays on Empire. As soon as news broke regarding his attack, fellow actors and thousands across social media spoke out in support of Smollett. The incident raised the issue of racism and the vast amount of progress that still needs to be made in terms of acceptance for minority groups.
REPORT: Chicago PD intend to CHARGE Jussie Smollett if he filed a FALSE police report...https://t.co/Gp2QvOglyM— Chuck Callesto (@ChuckCallesto) February 10, 2019
Luckily, the actor survived the incident with minor injuries and was released from the hospital. He has made public appearances in the days following during which he has gone into further detail about the attack. He was quick to assure fans that despite being shaken up, he’s alright and refuses to allow the incident cause him to live a life of fear.
While many applauded Smollett for getting back out into the public eye so soon after his frightening experience, others pondered how much truth there was to his story and whether certain aspects of it had been embellished. Many wondered if much of the actor’s recount of events had been made up in order to stir up racial controversy.
Due to the amount of questioning in the media, the Chicago Police Department will be delving further into their investigation regarding the attack. If he did make a false report, he will be “held accountable,” police say. In terms of the suspects themselves, the authorities don’t have much to go upon, the CPD’s public report says.
“The primary aggressor was wearing a black mask concealing any facial features and both offenders were dressed in black. The victim does not remember any other distinguishing features of the offenders, or in which direction they fled.”
No arrests have been made in the case thus far and police are still trying to secure security footage from the night of the incident that may provide further insight into what really happened.