Police Locate Footage of Potential Suspects in Jussie Smollett Case

Credit: Deposit Photos

Update: Hours after Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi took to Twitter at 2:53 pm PT to announce “detectives located a surveillance camera that shows potential persons of interest” in the attack on actor Jussie Smollett, CPD released the first photos of the possible suspects.

“Photos of people of interest who were in area of the alleged assault & battery of ‘Empire’ cast member. While video does not capture an encounter, detectives are taking this development seriously & wish to question individuals as more cameras are being reviewed,” he tweeted.

Earlier: Authorities in Chicago are trying to locate video footage of the possible hate crime against Empire actor Jussie Smollett.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Wednesday that officers have combed through hundreds of hours of surveillance video near the highly-monitored location where Smollett says he was attacked, but have yet to come up with any evidence.

“We haven’t seen anybody, at this point, matching the description he gave, nobody looks menacing and we didn’t find a container anywhere,” Guglielmi stated, referencing the container Smollett told police was used to throw an “unknown chemical substance” at him.

Police said they planned to expand their search to “include footage from public buses and buildings beyond the scene’s immediate vicinity” in an attempt to locate the two suspects, according to published reports.

Guglielmi also revealed that the actor’s manager called police roughly 40 minutes after the attack took place. When investigators arrived at Smollet’s apartment, they recommended he go to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for an evaluation.

Read MoreLee Daniels Outraged by ‘Racist’ Attack on Jussie Smollett

Smollett was reportedly attacked by two men wearing MAGA hats in the early hours of Tuesday, Jan. 29 while leaving a Subway restaurant. The 35-year-old singer-songwriter told police he was beaten after the assailants yelled out “racial and homophobic slurs towards him,” the Chicago Police Department told Urban Hollywood 411.

During the incident — which occurred in the 300 block of E. North Lower Water Street — the perpetrators “wrapped a rope around” Smollett’s neck, police said.

The suspects reportedly yelled “it’s MAGA country” upon leaving the scene, a detail Guglielmi addressed in a statement to People.

“In the initial reports there was no mention of MAGA,” the statement read. “When detectives [followed] up with him later in the day, he recalled the offenders making those comments and detectives completed a supplemental report.”

Guglielmi also confirmed that the FBI is investigating a threatening letter sent to Smollett at Fox Studios in Chicago. The network has since beefed up its security in light of the incident, a rep confirmed to People.

You can read Guglielmi’s full statement about the investigation below.

Chicago police detectives continue to investigate serious allegations of a potential racially charged hate crime that took place in the downtown area Tuesday morning around 2 a.m. The Streeterville neighborhood where the alleged attack occurred has a very high density of city and private surveillance cameras. As of 10 p.m. Tuesday, detectives canvassed and reviewed hundreds of hours of video and have now expanded the search area along the Chicago riverfront hoping to find video to be able to release a public description of the offenders. Unfortunately, thus far we have not found any helpful information on a suspect or a suspect’s vehicle to be able to share.  We are taking this investigation very seriously and detective teams will broaden our search area and work around the clock to look for video on traffic cameras, CTA buses and neighboring thoroughfares which could have captured the offender’s movements. The victim in this case is cooperating fully with detectives and our investigation continues.

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