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Chicago police release surveillance images in Jussie Smollett assault case

Images of two potential persons of interest have been shared with the public.

Cheriss May // NurPhot

Authorities in Chicago are continuing their investigation into who was behind the brutal attack on "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett.

On Wednesday (Jan. 30), police released surveillance images in hopes that those with information on the two persons of interest connected to the hate crime can come forward.

Chicago PD Chief Communications Officer Anthony Guglielmi tweeted the photos that depicted two men wearing masks, as they walked in the neighborhood of Streeterville, which is close to where Smollett was staying. Unfortunately, the images are dark and do not clearly show the suspects' faces.

"While video does not capture an encounter, detectives are taking this development seriously & wish to question individuals as more cameras are being reviewed," Guglielmi wrote.

As previously reported, Tuesday (Jan. 29) at around 2:00 a.m., Smollett was targeted after having a meal at a nearby Subway. The two suspects allegedly yelled racial and homophobic slurs at the actor. They went on to physically assault Smollett and pour an "unknown chemical substance" on him, while wrapping a rope around his neck.

The attack happened after Smollett received an anonymous threatening letter that read, "You will die black f-g."

After the letter was sent to Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, where "Empire" is filmed, Smollett reportedly turned down the option to have extra security. The letter also reportedly triggered a hazardous materials call. But, fire crews determined that the white powder included in the envelope was not a dangerous substance.

According to a new development in the investigation, the FBI has began looking into the letter, while local authorities in Chicago continue to investigate the incident.

Guglielmii also said detectives "still have a lot more cameras to look at. But, now that we've got potential persons of interest, the focus will be following their paths. Where did they come from and where did they go?"

Detectives are seeking to identify and interview the two potential persons of interest depicted in the surveillance footage. Anyone with information is asked to get in touch with Area Central detectives at 312-747-8380 or report it anonymously to

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