EXCLUSIVE: Family of ‘Empire’ star Jussie Smollett issues statement
"We are hopeful they will find these men and bring them to justice."
While at least a dozen Chicago detectives are working to find new leads combing video and photos to find the two white masked men who attacked ‘Empire’ star, Jussie Smollett, his family has issued their first statement, exclusively to theGrio.
“In the early hours of Tuesday morning, our beloved son and brother, Jussie, was the victim of a violent and unprovoked attack. We want to be clear, this was a racial and homophobic hate crime. Jussie has told the police everything from the very beginning. His story has never changed, and we are hopeful they will find these men and bring them to justice. Our family thanks everyone for their prayers and the huge amount of love he has received. We are thankful to our village for your immense support during this trying time. We are so grateful that God saw him through this cowardly attack alive. Jussie is a warrior whose light cannot be dimmed. We want people to understand these targeted hate crimes are happening to our sisters, brothers and our gender non-conforming siblings, many who reside within the intersection of multiple identities, on a monthly, weekly, and sometimes even daily basis all across our country. Oftentimes ending fatally, these are inhumane acts of domestic terrorism and they should be treated as such. They will continue to occur until we hold each other accountable. Make no mistake, words matter. Hateful words lead to hateful actions. Radical love is the only solution, but passivity will be our downfall. We, as a family, will continue to work for love, equity and justice until it reigns supreme in our nation and all over the world.
With Love & Gratitude,
The Smollett Family
As the Case Builds
The latest details in the alleged attack and possible hate crime includes police issuing a statement that they have video of Smollett walking across the street from two possible assailants. Police have said that the video shows Smollett, who walks out of frame and when he’s back in, he is seen “wearing a rope like a neck tie.” Photos of two shadowy figures in question were released on Wednesday to the public.
On Thursday afternoon, when asked about the Smollett attack, President Trump said it was “horrible” and “Doesn’t get worse, as far as I’m concerned.”
Smollett has received an outpouring of support across social media from celebrities and fans alike. He is cooperating with the police (although detectives have said that he refuses to hand over his cell phone) after being hospitalized and released after the alleged attack occurred on Tuesday around 2:00 a.m. as he was walking home. He continues to assert that the men who attacked him shouted both racial and homophobic slurs.