Chicago police have located more surveillance cameras in the area where Jussie Smollett was allegedly attacked, and the additional footage could bring them closer to learning what happened in the early hours of Jan. 29.
A police spokesman told reporters on Monday that new video was being “downloaded and reviewed.” Authorities are looking for more details about the incident, during which Smollett said he was accosted by two masked men who shouted homophobic and racial slurs and then wrapped a rope around his neck and poured an “unknown chemical substance” on him. One of the assailants, the actor later said, yelled “MAGA country!” as they left.
Though police have reviewed video evidence that Smollett had a rope around his neck when he arrived at his apartment building early on Jan. 29, they haven’t yet seen footage of the attack itself, according to Fox News. Security footage has led them to two unidentified persons of interest, and Smollett said his attackers seemed to know who he was, according to the Associated Press.
Smollett, a gay black actor-musician who plays Jamal Lyon on the Fox series “Empire,” spoke out for the first time this past Friday, three days after the alleged attack, as rumors swirled about the details of the incident.
“Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served,” he told Essence in a statement.
On Saturday, during a musical performance in West Hollywood, California, he got more specific. “I was bruised but my ribs were not cracked; they were not broken,” he told the crowd. “I went to the doctor immediately. … I was not hospitalized. Both my doctors in LA and Chicago cleared me to perform, but said to take care, obviously. And above all, I fought the fuck back.”
Chicago police have said that Smollett is cooperating with the investigation and that there’s “no reason at this point to think he’s not being genuine with us,” Fox News reports.