The family of Jussie Smollett, who was the victim of a brutal homophobic and racist attack in Chicago this week, have spoken out.
‘We are so grateful that God saw him through this cowardly attack alive’ his family said in a statement on Thursday (31 January) to ET Online.
Smollett required hospital treatment after an attack in Chicago on Tuesday. Two white men allegedly harassed and attacked Smollett in the early hours. They also hurled homophobic and racist insults.
They also allegedly put a noose around the actor’s neck and poured an ‘unknown chemical substance’ on him. He has since been discharged is reportedly in ‘good condition’.
‘We want to be clear, this was a racial and homophobic hate crime’, the family said. ‘These are inhumane acts of domestic terrorism and they should be treated as such’.
‘Jussie is a warrior whose light cannot be dimmed’ the statement said.
‘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’.
‘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 statement concluded.
Chicago police on Wednesday released photos of persons of interest in the alleged homophobic and racist attack on Jussie Smollet.
‘Detectives located a surveillance camera that shows potential persons of interest wanted for questioning in reference to the assault & battery of Empire actor’ said Chief Communications Officer of Chicago Police, Anthony Guglielmi, Ion Twitter.
The police released photos showing two men in dark clothing walking along a Chicago street.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) told ABC News on Tuesday it was investigating the attack.
Smollett also received a threatening letter days before the attack, according to ThatGrapeJuice. ‘You will die black fag’ it reportedly said.
Smollett’s music manager, Brandon Z. Moore, told ABC News the attackers shouted ‘Maga Country.’ Maga stands for the pro-Donald Trump slogan ‘Make America Great Again’.
Moore was on the phone to Smollett at the time of the attack.
Celebrities and other notable figures sent an outpouring of love and support for Smollett this week.
Fox, which shows Empire, said it was ‘ saddened and outraged’.
‘We send our love to Jussie, who is resilient and strong, and we will work with law enforcement to bring these perpetrators to justice’.