A tragic story was recently reported out of Chicago. A famous young actor was attacked and brutally beaten during what may have been a hate crime.
"'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett has been hospitalized after allegedly being brutally attacked by two men early Tuesday morning in what police are investigating as a possible hate crime," reported Fox News.
According to police, Jussie said the men hit him in the face and proceeded to pour an unknown chemical on him before wrapping a rope around his neck. He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital following the attack.
Jussie's family spoke out about the incident in a statement that they released on Thursday. Now, Jussie is speaking out himself and is breaking his silence. It is the first time he has officially done so since he was beaten.
“Let me start by saying that I’m OK. My body is strong but my soul is stronger. More importantly, I want to say thank you,” the Empire star, 36, said in a statement to Essence on Friday. “The outpouring of love and support from my village has meant more than I will ever be able to truly put into words.”
“I am working with authorities and have been 100 percent factual and consistent on every level. Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served,” he continued. “As my family stated, these types of cowardly attacks are happening to my sisters, brothers and non-gender conforming siblings daily. I am not and should not be looked upon as an isolated incident. We will talk soon and I will address all the details of this horrific incident, but I need a moment to process. Most importantly, during times of trauma, grief, and pain, there is still a responsibility to lead with love. It’s all I know. And that can’t be kicked out of me. With love, respect & honor … Jussie.”
Now, police are continuing to work the case. They have been seeking two people who were caught on camera in the area around the time of the attack. They have also opened up about finding new surveillance footage from the area.
"Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the footage from those cameras was being 'downloaded and reviewed.' He added that two individuals were seen in the area around the time Smollett said he was attacked -- and considered 'people of interest' -- had not yet been identified 'as homeless or otherwise.' Guglielmi previously said investigators would go painstakingly through footage to reconstruct what Smollett said happened to him early on the morning of Jan. 29," wrote Fox.
Rumors circulated online that the attack may have been orchestrated to make MAGA supporters look bad. Now, police are speaking out and confirming Jussie's story. Video footage showed Jussie arriving with a rope around his neck just as he described.
"Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said during an appearance on WLS-TV Friday that Smollett has been 'very cooperative and we have no reason at this point to think he's not being genuine with us.' For his part, Smollett insisted in a statement Friday that he had been "100 [percent] factual and consistent on every level," according to Fox.
Please join us in praying for Jussie during this awful time. We pray that the police bring his attackers to justice and that something awful like this never occurs again.
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