Detectives have recovered more surveillance footage of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett walking in downtown Chicago before and after he says he was attacked by two masked men, including video of him arriving home with a rope around his neck, but they’re still searching for footage of the attack, a police spokesman said Thursday.
The video from a surveillance camera at Smollett’s apartment building showing him arrive home with a rope around his neck is part of a larger effort to obtain as much footage as possible of his walk from a Subway restaurant to his apartment at around 2 a.m. Tuesday.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said detectives, who are investigating the case as a possible hate crime, have pieced together more footage from the hundreds of public and private surveillance cameras in that area of downtown Chicago, which is home to many high-end hotels and restaurants. But they still haven’t found video of the attack or the men who match Smollett’s description of the suspects, he said.
Smollett, who is black and gay and plays the gay character Jamal Lyon on the hit Fox television show, said the men beat him, subjected him to racist and homophobic insults, threw an “unknown chemical substance” on him and put a thin rope around his neck before fleeing. He returned to his apartment afterward and his manager called police from there about 40 minutes later, Guglielmi said. When officers arrived, the actor had cuts and scrapes on his face and the rope around his neck. Smollett later went to a hospital for treatment.