The Smollett Family has released a statement condemning the attack on Jussie Smollett and brands it an act of “domestic terrorism.”
“We want to be clear, this was a racial and homophobic hate crime,” reads the statement.
The Empire star was hospitalized after he said two men jumped him in Chicago during the early morning hours, first yelling racial and homophobic slurs before beating him, then pouring an unknown chemical substance over him, police said.
At some point during the attack, one of the suspects wrapped a rope around Smollett’s neck. Police are investigating the matter as a possible hate crime.
The suspects were described by police to The Hollywood Reporter as two males wearing black clothing. One offender was wearing a black mask. There were no other identifying characteristics. Police also confirmed to THR that Smollett told them his attackers yelled pro-“Make America Great Again” (MAGA) comments during the attack, such a “MAGA country!” Those comments were not mentioned in the initial report but were added to a supplemental report after another interview with detectives, police said.
Some via social media have tried to shed doubt on Smollett’s report. His family pushed back
“Jussie has told the police everything from the very beginning,” they said in a statement. “His story has never changed, and we are hopeful they will find these men and bring them to justice.”
They continued, “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.”
Police are still investigating.