Police: 2 people of interest released in the Jussie Smollett case have confirmed their presence on the scene. Police investigate whether an attack is organized, sources said



CHICAGO –

Chicago police announced Friday night that two interesting people in the alleged attack on "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett would be released without charge.

It was confirmed that these men were the men seen on the surveillance footage of the alleged incident site. Chicago police told ABC News that the reason the men were on the scene is now at the center of the investigation.

"Yes, they are confirmed as the men on the scene by the surveillance video," said the Chicago police. "The reason for their presence is now at the center of the investigation and we can not talk about it yet."

Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi issued a statement stating: "Due to new evidence resulting from today's interrogations, police interviewees in the United States," he said. Empire case have now been released without charge and the detectives still have to conduct an investigation. "

Guglielmi said that individuals are no longer classified as suspects. The investigation remains in progress.

The lawyer representing both men spoke Friday night after their release, claiming that she and the two men had provided new elements to the police during the investigation.

On Friday morning, Guglielmi said the two men had a relationship with Smollett. On Friday morning, the police claimed that the two men had been classified as suspects and that, at that time, the police thought they were involved in a crime.

Many sources told ABC7 Eyewitness News in Chicago that police were investigating whether Smollett and the two men had organized the attack, allegedly because Smollett was being removed from "Empire". ".

A source close to the investigation told ABC7 that Smollett did not appear for an interview with detectives earlier Thursday, but has since spoken to the police.

Chicago Police Commissioner Eddie Johnson contacted ABC7 to tell him that he continued to treat Smollett as a victim and that the investigation was continuing.

"The police are investigating whether the two individuals committed the attack or whether the attack occurred at all," Chicago police told ABC News.

Smollett issued a statement Thursday night stating that, "Today, Jussie has responded to the ongoing follow-up questions from the Chicago Police Department and continues to cooperate."

The representatives of Smollett stated that it was not being written off of "Empire".

Twentieth Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment issued a statement: "The idea that Jussie Smollett was or would be written off from EMPIRE is obviously ridiculous.He remains a vital player in this very successful series and we continue to support. "

An informed source of the Smollett investigation confirmed to ABC News that the Chicago police are questioning the two men – one of them appeared in "Empire".

The law enforcement official also told ABC News that the houses of the two men were raided Wednesday night. The police removed shoes, electronic devices and other items that could help them determine if both people were involved in the assault.

Neighbors have described a swarm of officers and K-9 units.

"I was walking down the alley.A police car stopped in the driveway and they told me to go back inside the house. maybe five minutes later, there were 20 policemen near the door, "said neighbor Jaime Figueroa. .

The neighbors said they believe these men are Nigerian brothers who grew up in this apartment and have been living there for years. The neighbors have described them as friends and perhaps bodybuilders, and have said they have long wanted to be actors.

The Chicago police said she "can not confirm any of these reports". No charges have been filed.

The police initially stated that the two people of interest are not suspects and have not been charged. The two men were recovered Wednesday night at the O. Hare International Airport, police said.

A lawyer who claimed to represent the two people of interest declined to comment on the case as she left the Central Region Police Headquarters.

Chicago police told ABC News that she was hounding the two people who interested her and knew about their identity "for a while". Chicago police told ABC News that they were cooperating and had been questioned all day.

Smollett said he was attacked around 2 am on January 29 in the 300 blocks of East North Water Street in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood. He told the police that two masked men had shouted homophobic slurs, attacked him, put a rope around his neck and poured a liquid that smelled like bleach.

On Thursday night, the police said the phone records provided by Smollett indicated that he was on the phone with his manager at the time of the attack. The two men told investigators that the Smollett assailants had shouted insults.

Smollett, 36, is black and openly gay.

RELATED: Jussie Smollett looks at the attack after the message "Good Morning America": "I'm not weak"

Police said that they had not found any video surveillance showing the attack. But earlier in the survey, they released granular surveillance images of two people of possible interest. The photos show two silhouettes on New Street, near Illinois Street, between 1:30 am and 1:45 am on January 29th.

In a statement released on Thursday, police said they identified the two people in the surveillance photos and located them with the help of cameras, transit logs and corroborative information provided by Smollett.

RELATED: A bottle with a smell of bleach found near the site of Jussie Smollett's attack; The actor & # 39; Empire & # 39; submits telephone records

Smollett's was exclusively entertained with Robin Roberts at "Good Morning America" ​​on Thursday. He reflected on what happened to him that morning and what has happened to him since.

"These are the attackers, but also the attacks," he said, adding that it was not necessarily not to believe that it was the truth, you did not even want not see the truth. "

Anthony Guglielmi, spokesman for the Chicago Police Department, said Thursday morning that he had been watching the GMA interview with CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson. Guglielmi said that Smollett's comments on the GMA are consistent with what he told the Chicago police. Unfortunately, the police have no solid evidence to stop anyone at this time.


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