CHICAGO (CBS) — After an extensive search, Chicago police say they have located video that shows “potential persons of interest” wanted for questioning in reference to the assault and battery of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett.
The video does not depict an assault, police say, but the people are “seen in the vicinity of the alleged criminal incident during the alleged time of occurrence.”
Smollet claims he was assaulted in a homophobic and racially fueled attack overnight Monday in Chicago.
Police say the 36-year-old Empire cast member was walking home from a 24-hour Subway restaurant in the 300 block of E. Lower North Water Street around 2 a.m. when two men allegedly began yelling homophobic and racial slurs at the actor on North Lower Water Street near Smollett’s apartment.
Chicago police say along with the verbal attack Smollett reported the men threw an unknown substance on him and placed a rope around his neck.
Sources say Smollett left the rope on his neck roughly 45 minutes until police arrived.
But the alleged attacked is not captured on the hundreds of surveillance videos the 12 detectives assigned to the case have poured through.
“I know the police department is working aggressively,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “The alleged statement of what happened her is horrific, and there’s no place for it in the City of Chicago.”
Smollett also told police the attackers allegedly yelled, “This is MAGA country,” referring to President Donald Trump’s slogan.
Police say there is video of Smollett inside the Subway, and they located video of the people wanted for questioning Wednesday.
Detectives are working the incident as a possible hate crime.
Smollett, who was not seriously hurt, talked to CNN’s Don Lemon who said “Smollett was shaken and angry” and “fought back at the attackers.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Area Central Detectives at (312)747-8380 or reach out anonymously at www.cpdtip.com.