Following last week’s alleged homophobic and racially motivated attack against Empire star Jussie Smollett, more details have been made public as the Chicago Police Department continues its investigation.

On January 30th, Chief Communications Officer for the Chicago Police Department, Anthony Guglielmi, announced via Twitter that detectives had found surveillance camera footage showing two persons of interests in the case, followed by a tweet featuring photos taken from said footage:

According to ABC 7 Chicago reporter Rob Elgas, detectives used “two different cameras to piece together Smollett’s movements when he was near them,” but that Smollett is not himself seen on camera alongside the persons of interest:

Elgas also reports that though the attack is not caught on camera, the aftermath is captured by another surveillance camera:

However, there are also some facts about the statement that skeptics have claimed call into question the veracity of Smollett’s story. Regarding the phone call made to the authorities when in said acquaintances’ residence, Smollett has refused to turn over his phone records, leaving the calls unable to be independently verified. Smollett also asked the responding officers to turn off their body cams when they arrived to interview him immediately following the incident. Footage taken prior to the attack shows Smollett at a local Subway location prior to his assault, and as reported by Fox 32 Chicago reporter Rafer Weigel, Smollett was also still in possession of his Subway sandwich following the brutal attack.

Smollett has responded to said critics, issuing an exclusive statement to Essence stating that he has been “working with authorities and have been 100 percent factual and consistent on every level” and that “Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served.”

On February 1st, Smollett’s family released a statement condemning the attack as an act of “domestic terrorism”:

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, our beloved son and brother, Jussie, was the victim of a violent and unprovoked attack. We want to be clear, this was a racial and homophobic hate crime. Jussie has told the police everything from the very beginning. His story has never changed, and we are hopeful they will find these men and bring them to justice. Our family thanks everyone for their prayers and the huge amount of love he has received. We are thankful to our village for your immense support during this trying time. We are so grateful that God saw him through this cowardly attack alive. 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.

A defiant Smollett recently made his first public appearance since the attack, appearing on stage at the Troubador venue in West Hollywood, CA on February 2nd to perform for a crowd of welcoming fans. He addressed the attack on stage, clearing up misinformation regarding initial news reports and stating, “I can’t let the mother——s win.”:

Fox Studios also received a threatening letter addressed to Smollett with the return address written as ‘MAGA’, while the contents read “You will die black f–” written by cut outs of letters from magazines. According to People, Fox confirmed that additional protection was offered to Smollett following this letter, and TMZ reports that the actor declined due to extra security being “an intrusive way of living.”

These photos, first obtained by, depict the letter which was reportedly sent to Fox Studios to threaten and intimidate Smollett. Though Fox

The FBI and the Chicago PD both continue to investigate the assault, with the FBI focusing their attentions on the alleged letter.

The investigation is still ongoing, with answers yet to be found regarding the attack or the perpetrators. As of February 4th, the Chicago PD has announced that new security footage has been discovered, but that it would take time to download, review, and analyze the newly acquired video before any new information could be detailed to the public.

  • About The Author

    Spencer Baculi

    Spencer is the Editor for Bounding Into Comics. A life-long anime fan, comic book reader, and video game player, Spencer believes in supporting every claim with evidence and that Ben Reilly is the best version of Spider-Man. He can be found on Twitter @kabutoridermav.