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Police investigating Jussie Smollett attack release photos of people of interest

Police investigating Jussie Smollett attack release photos of people of interest
"Empire's" Jussie Smollett. Chicago police are continuing to investigate the attack against the actor and musician. (Evan Agostini / Invision/AP)

Chicago police have released images of people they would like to question in their investigation into the attack of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett.

On Wednesday, the Chicago Police Department released photos of “people of interest” captured by surveillance cameras in the area around where the attack against Smollett occurred.

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Chief Communications Officer Anthony Guglielmi said in a tweet: “While video does not capture an encounter, detectives are taking this development seriously & wish to question individuals as more cameras are being reviewed.”

Police have described the early Tuesday attack against Smollett as a possible hate crime.

The incident involved two people allegedly approaching the 36-year-old actor and musician while yelling racist and homophobic slurs. They then hit him in the face, poured an “unknown chemical substance” on him and at some point wrapped a rope around his neck.

Smollett, who is black and gay, plays a gay character on the Fox television series “Empire.” Many of Smollett’s friends, fans and activists condemned the attack.

According to a police spokesperson, Smollett also recalled the offenders making “MAGA” comments, related to President Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.

As of earlier Wednesday, Smollett was out of the hospital and at home recovering.

The FBI is also investigating the case because a threatening letter targeting Smollett’s race and sexual orientation had been mailed to Fox Studios in Chicago before the attack.

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