Police Hunt for Video of 'Empire' Star Jussie Smollett Attack

Police are desperately searching for video of the attack on Empire star Jussie Smollett in the hopes of tracking down suspects.

According to The Blast, Chicago investigators are "canvassing" the area around a restaurant in the 300 block of East Lower Water Street for external cameras and other video recording equipment that may have caught the attack early Tuesday morning.

As was previously reported, the 36-year-old actor had been exiting a Chicago restaurant when two men wearing ski masks attacked him in what police are investigating as a possible hate crime. The men, who have not yet been identified, allegedly yelled racial and homophobic slurs at Smollett, physically attacked him with their hands, and poured an unknown chemical substance over him before they proceeded to wrap a rope around his neck.

Smollett was hospitalized as a result of the attack but has since been released and is said to be doing well.

"Given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime," Chicago Police Department said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

Currently, no video footage of the incident has been found, and no suspects have been named or apprehended. Authorities are also looking for witnesses.

In response to the attack, social media was flooded with celebrities voicing their support for Smollett.

"I'm deeply horrified and saddened by the racist and homophobic attacks against @JussieSmollett," Empire co-creator Danny Strong tweeted. "He is a kind and profoundly talented soul whom I respect with all my heart. The terror of racism and homophobia has no place in our society, it is the most indecent way to live. Whoever did this, do not forget that you are nothing but hate-filled cowards while Jussie's talent and activism will continue to shine a bright light on to the world for decades to come."

The attack has also garnered the response of a number of prominent LGBTQ organizations, including GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBTQ civil rights organization.

Smollett, who plays musician Jamal Lyon in the Fox series, confirmed during a 2015 appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that he identifies as gay.


"There's never been a closet that I've been in," he said, adding that his decision to keep his personal life private was not an attempt to "hide or deny who God made me. There is, without a doubt, no closet that I've ever been in."