Chicago — Detectives have reviewed surveillance footage of "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett walking to a downtown Chicago apartment after an early-morning visit to a Subway restaurant, but none of it showed an attack on the actor, a police official said Wednesday.
Investigators "for the most part" can confirm the route Smollett took early Tuesday when he says he was attacked by two masked men along a street in the Streeterville neighbourhood, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. However, there are gaps and none of the footage police have reviewed shows an attack, he said.
Smollett, who is black and gay and who plays the gay character Jamal Lyon on the hit Fox television show, said the men beat him, subjected him to racist and homophobic insults, threw an "unknown chemical substance" on him and put a thin rope around his neck before fleeing.
Guglielmi said detectives who are investigating the allegations as a possible hate crime, have looked at hundreds of hours of surveillance video from businesses and hotels in the heavily monitored area. But he said they still need to collect and view more. He said they are expanding the search to include footage from public buses and buildings beyond the crime scene's immediate vicinity in the hopes of spotting the men who match Mollett's description of the suspects.
"We haven't seen anybody, at this point, matching the description he gave, nobody looks menacing and we didn't find a container anywhere," Guglielmi said, referring to a container for the liquid that was thrown at the actor.