Yesterday’s homophobic and racist attack on R&B singer and Empire star Jussie Smollett is now being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). 

Jussie Smollett was walking in the Windy City’s Streeterville neighborhood when two anonymous assailants approached him while shouting racial and homophobic slurs. They also hit Smollett in the face, poured bleach on the actor, and wrapped a noose around his neck. 

According to ABC News, the FBI will be joining the Chicago Police Department in the probe. The police said that they are increasing the search area for surveillance footage of the singer and actor and his assailants.

Chicago Police’s Chief Communication Officer, Anthony Guglielimi gave a statement.

“Chicago police detectives continue to investigate serious allegations of a potential racially charged hate crime that took place in the downtown area Tuesday morning around 2 a.m. The Streeterville neighborhood where the alleged attack occurred has a very high density of city and private surveillance cameras. As of 10 pm Tuesday, detectives canvassed and reviewed hundreds of hours of video and have now expanded the search area along the Chicago riverfront hoping to find a video to be able to release a public description of the offenders,” he said.

“Unfortunately, thus far we have not found any helpful information on a suspect or a suspect’s vehicle to be able to share. We are taking this investigation very seriously and detective teams will broaden our search area and work around the clock to look for the video on traffic cameras, CTA buses, and neighboring thoroughfares which could have captured the offender’s movements. The victim, in this case, is cooperating fully with detectives and our investigation continues.”


Glennisha Morgan is a Detroit-bred multimedia journalist and writer. She writes about intersectionality, hip-hop, pop culture, queer issues, race, feminism, and her truth. Follow her on Twitter @GlennishaMorgan.