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Police questioning people of interest in Jussie Smollett case (UPDATE)
2019-02-14

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Chicago authorities are questioning two people of interest who were seen on surveillance cameras in the area where openly gay Empire actor Jussie Smollett says he was attacked in Streeterville recently, The Chicago Tribune reported.

Smollett has told police he was attacked around late at night Jan. 29 while walking from a Subway shop to his apartment in the 300 block of East North Water Street. Two men allegedly walked up, yelled racial and homophobic slurs, hit him and wrapped a rope around his neck.

On Feb. 15, Windy City Times received the following press release:

"Interrogations will resume today with the two individuals and their attorney. While we haven't found any video documenting the alleged attack, there is also no evidence to say that this is a hoax. The alleged victim is being cooperative at this time and continues to be treated as a victim, not a suspect.

"For clarification, the two individuals interviewed are classified as potential suspects. Detectives have probable cause that they may have been involved in an alleged crime and we are working to corroborate the allegations and investigative timeline as our investigation continues.

"It can also be confirmed that 2 suspects have been arrested. No charges have been issued."

On Feb. 14, Good Morning America aired an interview co-anchor Robin Roberts conducted with Smollett.

"I am an advocate. I respect too much the people—who I am now one of those people—who have been attacked in any way. You do such a disservice when you lie about things like this," Smollett told Roberts, according to a separate Tribune item.

Regarding allegations that he hadn't initially handed over his cellphone to authorities, but it was because of privacy concerns. He added that it is not true that his attackers wore MAGA ("Make America Great Again") hats, although they made related comments.

The Tribune items are at ChicagoTribune.com .


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