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Police Spot “Persons Of Interest” In Alleged Attack On Jussie Smollett After Surveillance Video Found

(CHICAGO) — Chicago police have located surveillance video showing potential persons of interest in an alleged attack on Empire actor and singer Jussie Smollett.

Investigators are looking to question the men seen in the video, which was found Wednesday, Chicago Police Department Chief Communications Officer Anthony Guglielmi announced on Twitter.

Police-provided stills from the video show two people walking in the general area of where Smollett was at the time of the alleged attack, which police are calling a “potential racially-charged hate crime.” The video doesn’t show the assault, Guglielmi said.

Chicago police on Wednesday also issued a community alert with details of the alleged attack, and asking that anyone with information contact them.

Smollett, who’s gay, says he was attacked in Chicago by two unknown assailants whom he says hurled racial and homophobic epithets at him, threw an unknown liquid on him and put a rope around his neck.  He also said the assailants told him he was in “MAGA country.”

Also Wednesday, Smollett’s music manager, Brandon Z. Moore, confirmed to ABC News that he was on the phone with Smollett at the time of the alleged attack and heard some of what transpired, including someone using the words “MAGA country.”  A Chicago PD spokesperson confirms that Moore shared his account with them, and that they are attempting to confirm via cell records that he and Smollett were on the phone at the time.  They also say Smollett said he was on the phone with Moore at the time.

A Chicago Police Department spokesperson told ABC News early Wednesday, “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.”

The police spokesperson added: “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 [Chicago Transit Authority] 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,” the spokesperson said.

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