Chicago police investigate 'Empire' star's reported assault

Updated 12:16 p.m. ET, February 4, 2019
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7:15 p.m. ET, January 30, 2019

Chicago police plan to release photos of "potential persons of interest" in reported attack on "Empire" actor

From CNN's Marlena Baldacci

The Chicago Police Department tweeted Wednesday evening that they found a surveillance camera showing "potential persons of interest wanted for questioning" in the reported attack on actor Jussie Smollett.

Police added that they were working on a community alert with photos.

9:17 a.m. ET, January 30, 2019

The only image police have found so far shows Smollett standing alone

Chicago police said they are expanding the search area for surveillance video of actor Jussie Smollett's alleged attackers.

CNN's Sara Sidner explained why:

"So far, in a place so far with a high number of private surveillance cameras, they cannot find any images of the two alleged attackers. After combing through hundreds of hours of videos, the only image of Smollett police obtained from security cameras was inside the Subway sandwich shop near the location of the reported crime — and he was standing alone."

Watch more:

9:16 a.m. ET, January 30, 2019

Chicago Police expand search for video of attack

From CNN's Ryan Young

Chicago police have "reviewed hundreds of hours of video" as they search for footage of the reported attack on actor Jussie Smollett.

They've now expanded their search to the Chicago riverfront, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.

Here's Guglielmi's full statement:

“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.
7:18 p.m. ET, January 29, 2019

Chicago police: No video evidence found yet of reported Smollett attack

From CNN's Ryan Young

A Chicago police spokesperson tells CNN that investigators canvassed the neighborhood where the reported attack occurred on actor Jussie Smollett and have found no still images or video from security cameras of the incident.   

A dozen police detectives with the assistance of the FBI are working the case on Tuesday, according to police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi.  

The only image of Smollett police obtained from security cameras was inside Subway Sandwich shop near the location of the reported crime, the actor was standing alone. 

Chicago police say Jussie Smollett did not mention the alleged attackers shouting, “This is MAGA country” during the initial police interview. Investigators heard the claim in media reports and called the actor. He later relayed it to detectives in a supplemental interview.

Police say they are testing the chemical Smollett claimed to have been doused with and have yet to confirm the nature of the substance. 

Editor's note: We are updating our headline on this story to reflect the latest information from Chicago police as they investigate Smollett's allegations.

4:43 p.m. ET, January 29, 2019

Kamala Harris on Smollett attack: "We must confront this hate"

California Sen. Kamala Harris mirrored New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker's description of the Jussie Smollett assault, calling it "an attempted modern day lynching."

See the tweet:

Harris and Booker were co-sponsored of an anti-lynching bill that cleared the Senate last December (after years of failed attempts to do so), and which now lies with the House.

4:31 p.m. ET, January 29, 2019

No suspect description available in Smollett case, police say

Chicago Police
Chicago Police

Chicago Police Department Spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said police “continue to seek any available evidence/video to identify possible offenders in [the Jussie Smollett] case.”

He asked the public to report any tips to police. 

“Thus far we have not found anything to be able put out a description,” Guglielmi tweeted from a verified account.

3:22 p.m. ET, January 29, 2019

Cory Booker calls Smollett attack "an attempted modern-day lynching"

Senator Cory Booker, who is currently weighing a decision on whether he will run for president in 2020, just called the attack an "attempted modern-day lynching" and called on Congress to pass an anti-lynching bill he has co-sponsored with Sen. Kamala Harris.

That bill, would make lynching a federal hate crime, passed the Senate in December and must now be taken up by the House.

3:05 p.m. ET, January 29, 2019

GLAAD: "Jussie is a true champion for LGBTQ people"

Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for GLAAD
Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for GLAAD

A representative for GLAAD told CNN the organization has reached out Smollett to offer assistance and support. 

"Jussie is a true champion for LGBTQ people and is beloved by the community and allies around the world," a GLAAD spokesperson said in a statement.

2:57 p.m. ET, January 29, 2019

Hollywood rallies behind Jussie Smollett after hate-fueled attack

A growing list of actors, producers, writers and others in the entertainment industry have shared their reactions to the horrific reported attack on "Empire" star Jussie Smollet.

See some of their tweets: