Two days after Jussie Smollett was allegedly attacked in a possible hate crime, his family has released a statement describing the “Empire” actor as “a warrior whose light cannot be dimmed.”
“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” the family wrote in the statement.
The family thanked the thousands who have stepped forward on social media and beyond to share support for Smollett saying, “we are so grateful that God saw him through this cowardly attack alive. 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.”
The family added that “radical love is the only solution” to dealing the racism and homophobia they say led to the attack, but warned that “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”.
The statement comes on the heels of new details provided by the Chicago Police Department Thursday morning. A dozen detectives are pursuing new leads and have tracked the actor’s movements that night through video and photos, police said.
They say video shows Smollett walking across the street from two possible persons of interest, whose photos were released late Wednesday to the public. In the video, Smollett walks out of frame for about a minute and reappears on another camera “wearing a rope like a neck tie,” police said.