The Chicago police have officially declared the empire actor a suspect in the recent hate crime attack against him.
The Chicago Police Department, on Wednesday, said that Jussie Smollett is now a suspect in the case that he filed sometime last month. Smollett had claimed that he was the victim of a hate crime attack which allegedly occurred on January 29 in Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago.
Smollett quickly rose to fame after his role as Jamal Lyon in the popular TV series, Empire. According to the black actor who is also gay, the two men who attacked him wore a mask and hurled racist and homophobic slurs. He said that the men poured a liquid substance over him, tying a rope around his neck.
After the news of Smollett’s attack went viral, many people including celebrities and gay rights advocates, took to social media to express their displeasure over the attack and show their support for the actor.
The police immediately launched an investigation into the hate crime attack but were unable to find any video of the incident from the surveillance cameras in the neighborhood. This development caused the police and other social media users to question the actor’s claim especially as the said attack took place in an area with functioning cameras.
On January 30, the police released photos of two men whom they believed may have been involved in the attack. The pictures were gotten from a surveillance camera close to where Smollett claimed he was attacked. According to the police, the suspected attackers are brothers named Ola and Abel Osundairo. They were taken into custody and questioned on February 3.
The two men were released two days later with the police saying that they were no longer suspects in the case. They, however, suggest that the Osundairo brothers were paid by Jussie Smollett to stage an assault and this has made the actor a suspect in the case. Smollett has now been charged for issuing a fake report to the police.
Smollett has since expressed his disappointment over the allegations of the police and others who doubt the truthfulness of his story.