UNITED STATES—Actor Jussie Smollett has gained support from celebrities, presidential candidates and politicians including, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Smollett, an actor on the Fox series “Empire,” reported to police that he was attacked on January 29. He claimed the attackers were two masked white men yelling racial and homophobic slurs. He claimed his attackers doused him with some unknown substance, put a noose around his neck and shouted, “This is MAGA country” referring to the Trump slogan, Make America Great Again.
Police reports show that Smollett’s story did not collaborate with camera footage of the area where the alleged attack occurred. Authorities are still investigating the case, where it has been reported that authorities suspect Smollett may have staged the attack. If found that Smollett filed a false police report. he could face three years in prison.
Smollett reportedly took himself to the hospital where the doctor noted what looked like road salt on him. The report showed Smollett was examined and released, “In good condition.”
Harris tweeted support for Smollett saying “Jussie Smollett is one of the kindest, most gentle human beings I know. I’m praying for his quick recovery. This was an attempted modern day lynching. No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront the hate.”
The investigation has shifted after the arrest of Nigerian brothers, Abel and Ola Osundairo who are considered suspects in the case, were released and are no longer considered suspects in the alleged attack.
In a tweet Booker called the alleged attack, “a modern day lynching.”
He later told Fox News, “I’m gonna withhold until all the information actually comes out from on-the-record sources,” after meeting with voters in Rochester, New Hampshire. “We know in America that bigoted and biased attacks are on the rise in a serious way, and we actually even know in this country that since 9/11, the majority of the terrorist attacks on our soil have been right-wing terrorist attacks — the majority of them white supremacist attacks.”
“There is no such thing as racially charged. This attack was not possibly homophobic. It was a racist and homophobic attack,” tweeted Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She added, “If you don’t like what is happening to our country, then work to change it. It is no one’s job to water down or sugar coat the rise in hate crimes.”
Chicago Police Department Spokesman, Anthony Guglielmi released the following statement, “While we are not in a position to confirm, deny or comment on the validity of what’s been unofficially released, there are some developments in this investigation and detectives have some follow-ups to complete which will include speaking to the individual who reported the incident.”