The trajectory of the investigation "shifted" after detectives questioned two brothers about the attack and released them late Friday without charges, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Saturday. They punched him, threw bleach on him, and then put a rope around his neck. While reports surrounding the alleged attack have been serious and grim, there have been moments of humor that have surfaced during the whirlwind reporting.
The two were let go without charge and reports leaked that they had given information to authorities that Jussie Smollett orchestrated the attack and even paid for the rope that was used as a noose. They also said Smollett would continue cooperating with police.
Two men were taken into custody by police Wednesday night at O'Hare Airport after returning from a trip to Nigeria, their attorney Gloria Schmidt told reporters Friday.
The day after the incident, police released surveillance images that showed two silhouetted individuals walking down a sidewalk, and police said they were wanted for questioning.
Before any facts were known in the Smollett assault - which allegedly occurred early in the morning on January 29 - Pelosi expressly condemned what Smollett claimed happened, denouncing the "racist, homophobic attack" as "an affront to our humanity".
TMZ was told there was no video of a "rehearsal" of the attack in the street.
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The New York Times has a timeline of this alleged hate crime that's quickly devolving into a total fiasco. He declined to comment on published reports that police believe Smollett staged the assault or that a grand jury may hear evidence in the case. No reason was given.
The panel went on to discuss the potential negative impact on real victims of hate crimes if this whole thing turns out to be a hoax, but notably failed to mention the smear of Trump supporters involved in the initial narrative promoted largely unquestioningly by the media.
Smollett also gave an interview to Robin Roberts of ABC News that aired Thursday, saying that he was "pissed" at people who did not believe he was attacked.
According to Fox 32 news reporter Rafer Weigel, lawyer Michael Monico is no longer representing Jussie Smollett after a disagreement occurred about the decision to release a statement this past Saturday night.
Chicago police and representatives for Jussie Smollett were keeping quiet Sunday, Feb. 17 about the investigation into a reported attack on the "Empire" actor. However, a well-placed law enforcement source tells Deadline that despite emerging and complicating evidence and requests for a further formal interview, Smollett has not made himself available "in a timely fashion" to investigators.
A sense of frustration that is growing.