New details have emerged about the attack on the 36-year-old Empire star. Police are reportedly following new leads in the Jussie Smollett case, tapping video and photos that captured his movements throughout the night, the Chicago Police Department tells ABC.
His family also spoke out. “In the early hours of Tuesday morning, our beloved son and brother, Jussie, was the victim of a violence and unprovoked attack,” the Smollett family said in a statement Thursday. “We want to be clear — this was a racial and homophobic hate crime.”
“These are inhumane acts of domestic terrorism and they should be treated as such,” they said. “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.”
The Smolletts added: “We are so grateful that God saw him through this cowardly attack alive. Jussie is a warrior whose light cannot be dimmed.”
Photographs of the suspects were released late Wednesday, and police say they have video of Smollett "wearing a rope like a neck tie." Of the suspects, police said they wanted to “question” the individuals in the pictures they released.
Smollett has reportedly been cooperating with police. He told them they also poured "an unknown chemical substance" on him, possibly bleach, in addition to wrapping a rope around his neck, shouting racial slurs at him (including “MAGA country”) and hitting him.
The attack has riveted the nation. On Thursday, President Trump called the attack “horrible.
Smollett’s sister, actress Jurnee Smollett Bell, broke her silence via social media, saying, “Because there’s a light in him that cannot be dimmed, because we are a family of joyful warriors, we will not let this get the best of us. Although this is a picture from happier times, this is the spirit to which we chose to move forward…they will not steal, our joy.” On her upload, she also reposted the statement her family released.
Kevin Hart is playing defense after posting a tweet in support of Smollett.
"Sending prayers your way @jussiesmollett," Hart wrote in a post shared on Instagram and Twitter. "This is unbelievably sad. Why are we going backwards….this is disgusting. We as people have to do better. WTF is going on the world????"
Hart came under fire from critics who brought up previously resurfaced homophobic tweets. Writer Ira Madison III was among the critics; he sarcastically tweeted that Hart’s message was his “funniest joke” yet.
Hart lashed out, tweeting: “I stand with a man in his time of hurt and need by giving him heart felt support and u take the time to harp on my 10yr past that I have apologized about and moved on from by being a better person. Do you want change? If so I am an example of what u want people to do…CHANGE!”
Madison fired back: “I “harp” because my community of black queer people face violence 365 in America and when we tried to tell you that we weren’t trolling you but wanted to educate how your jokes lead to actions like what happened to Jussie, you went on Ellen to talk about your wheelchair movie.”
Source: Pulse of Radio