“We want to be clear, this was a racial and homophobic hate crime,” the statement said in part. “Jussie has told the police everything from the very beginning. His story has never changed, and we are hopeful they will find these men and bring them to justice.”
According to a statement released by the Chicago Police Department, Smollett was beaten by two men who approached him by yelling out “racial and homophobic slurs” at approximately 2 a.m. on Tuesday morning in the 300 block of E. North Water St. They proceeded to assault Smollett and “poured an unknown chemical substance” on him.
The two men are also said to have put a rope around Smollett’s neck before fleeing on foot. Smollett then transported himself to an area hospital.
In an interview with Variety, Smollett’s music manager, who was on the phone with Smollett at the time the attack occurred, confirmed earlier reports that the two assailants had shouted, “This is MAGA country” at Smollett during the assault.
“I heard that clearly. I heard the scuffle and I heard the racial slur,” he said.
The Chicago PD has since released photographs of two persons of interest in the case and are asking the public for their help in identifying them.
Read the full statement from a representative of the family below.
“In the early hours of Tuesday morning, our beloved son and brother, Jussie, was the victim of a violent and unprovoked attack. We want to be clear, this was a racial and homophobic hate crime. Jussie has told the police everything from the very beginning. His story has never changed, and we are hopeful they will find these men and bring them to justice. Our family thanks everyone for their prayers and the huge amount of love he has received. We are thankful to our village for your immense support during this trying time. We are so grateful that God saw him through this cowardly attack alive. Jussie is a warrior whose light cannot be dimmed. We want people to understand these targeted hate crimes are happening to our sisters, brothers and our gender non-conforming siblings, many who reside within the intersection of multiple identities, on a monthly, weekly, and sometimes even daily basis all across our country. Oftentimes ending fatally, these are inhumane acts of domestic terrorism and they should be treated as such. 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. We, as a family, will continue to work for love, equity and justice until it reigns supreme in our nation and all over the world.