Chicago police have opened a hate crime investigation after a cast member of the Empire television program was allegedly attacked by men who had been shouting at him and physically attacking racial and homophobic interrogations.
The police have not released the police name of the 36-year-old actor, but allegedly attacked when he ran into the city center at 2 am. The Chicago police said the law forbids them from naming victims, but 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment confirmed that the alleged victim is Jussie Smollett, who identifies himself as gay.
In a follow-up interview with the police, Smollett exclaimed: "MAGA-land" during the attack, the police from Chicago confirmed CBS News.TMZ first reported details of the attack.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the victim reported that two men had approached him and started calling the racial and homophobic interrogations against him. He said they hit him in the face and poured an unknown chemical substance on him before one of them wrapped a rope around his neck. They then fled, police said.
"Given the gravity of the allegations, we take this investigation very seriously and treat it as a possible hate crime," Guglielmi said in a statement.
The man went to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Guglielmi said the man is treated in the hospital and is in good condition. The statement states that the victim cooperates fully with the investigators.
"We are deeply distressed and outraged when we learn that a member of our EMPIRE family, Jussie Smollett, was brutally attacked last night," 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment said in a statement released to CBS News. "We are sending our love to Jussie, who is resilient and strong, and we will work with law enforcement agencies to bring these perpetrators to justice.The entire studio, network and production faces all slanderous acts of violence and hatred all against one of us. "
TV industry colleagues, fans and advocates, including the NAACP, GLAAD and the Anti-Violence project, used social media on Tuesday to condemn the alleged attack.
NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said in a statement that the group was "uneasy about hearing about the recent racist and homophobic attack on NAACP Image Award winner, acclaimed actor and activist Jussie Smollett." GLAAD called for a thorough investigation into the incident.
Danny Strong, co-founder of Empire, said he was "deeply saddened and horrified".
"Whoever does this does so Remember, you are nothing but hate-filled cowards, while Jussie's talent and activism will make the world shine in bright light for decades to come. "Strong tweeted.
The FBI data released last year showedbetween 2016 and 2017. Hate crimes based on race, ethnicity, or descent were the most common and accounted for about 60 percent of the total out. The latest FBI report also found that 15.8 percent of hate crimes in 2017 were due to sexual orientation bias. Between 2016 and 2017, hate crimes motivated by racial prejudice increased by about 18 percent and attacks on LGBTQ individuals by 5 percent, according to the FBI.
The Anti-Violence Project Finds That Violence Against People with LGBTQ Increases 46 percent of LGBTQs hate victims of violence who suffered an injury in 2017, compared to 31 percent in 2016.
The Chicago Police Department gave that she would continue to seek evidence and videos in the case to identify potential offenders. So far, the police has not developed any information to publish a suspicious description, Guglielmi tweeted on Tuesday afternoon. Anyone with information is asked to send their tips to http://www.cpdtip.com.