Sister and actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell, alongside a photo of her five siblings, shared the lengthy statement on Instagram.
“Because there’s a light in him that cannot be dimmed, because we are a family of joyful warriors, we will not let this get the best of us,” Jurnee wrote before sharing the statement. “Although this is a picture from happier times, this is the spirit to which we chose to move forward…they will not steal, our joy.”
The statement called the attack a “racial and homophobic hate crime.”
“Jussie has told the police everything from the very beginning. His story has never changed, and we are hopeful they will find these men and bring them to justice.”
The family also addressed how homophobia and racism affect others like Jussie every day.
“We want people to understand these targeted hate crimes are happening to our sisters, brothers and our gender non-conforming siblings, many who reside within the intersection of multiple identities, on a monthly, weekly, and sometimes even daily basis all across our country. Oftentimes ending fatally, these are inhumane acts of domestic terrorism and they should be treated as such. They will continue to occur until we hold each other accountable.”
Read the full statement below.
The 35-year-old actor, who lives in Chicago while filming Empire, told police that he had gone for a bite to eat in an upscale neighborhood about 2 a.m. Tuesday when two men who yelled racist and homophobic slurs attacked and injured his face. According to the Chicago Police Department, Jussie said the attackers, described only as men in dark clothing and ski masks, doused him with a chemical and wrapped a rope around his neck.