Jussie Smollett‘s family has released a statement, days after being attacked by two unknown offenders in Chicago.
The Smollett family statement reads: “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.”
The family also thanks their “village” for the support they have been shown and they thank God for seeing Jussie “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,” the family says. “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.”
They conclude their statement, “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.”
The attack took place after Jussie arrived in the city from New York early Tuesday morning. The Empire star was walking when two unknown offenders allegedly approached him and gained his attention by yelling out racial and homophobic slurs towards him. The offenders then allegedly began to batter Smollett with their hands about the face and poured an unknown chemical substance on him.
During the attack, one of the offenders allegedly wrapped a rope around Smollett’s neck. The offenders later fled the scene and Smollett was self-transported to Northwestern Hospital.
“Overnight, the Chicago Police Department received a report of a possible racially-charged assault and battery involving a cast member of the television show Empire,” CPD Chief Spokesman Anthony Gugliemi told E! News Tuesday. “Given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime. Detectives are currently working to gather video, identify potential witnesses and establish an investigative timeline.”
The statement continued, “The victim is fully cooperating with investigators and we ask anyone with information about this incident to contact Area Central Detectives at 312-747-8382 or report it anonymously to www.cpdtip.com.”
According to TMZ, Smollett told the police in an interview that his assailants yelled “MAGA country” during the attack. The Chicago Police Department confirmed this information and told E! News in a statement, “In the initial reports there was no mention of MAGA. When detectives followed up with [Smollett] later in the day, he recalled the offenders making those comments and detectives completed a supplemental report.”
In the aftermath of the attack, fans, friends and coworkers of the star have expressed their support for the star. “We are deeply saddened and outraged to learn that a member of our EMPIRE family, Jussie Smollett, was viciously attacked last night,” 20th Century FOX Television and FOX Entertainment told E! News in a statement Tuesday. “We send our love to Jussie, who is resilient and strong, and we will work with law enforcement to bring these perpetrators to justice. The entire studio, network and production stands united in the face of any despicable act of violence and hate — and especially against one of our own.”