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The Smollett Family Calls Attack on Jussie ‘Domestic Terrorism’

“Jussie has told the police everything from the very beginning…we are hopeful they will find these men and bring them to justice.”

Credit: Instagram

The family of Empire actor Jussie Smollett called his recent assault at the hands of two men in Chicago “domestic terrorism,” according to a family statement.

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.”

Credit: Instagram

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.

View this post 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. 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. ✊🏽✊🏽✊🏽 ________________________________________________________Statement from our family: “ In the early hours of Tuesday morning, our beloved son and brother, Jussie, was the victim of a violent and unprovoked attack. We want to be clear, this was 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. Our family thanks everyone for their prayers and the huge amount of love he has received. We are thankful to our village for your immense support during this trying time. We are so grateful that God saw him through this cowardly attack alive. Jussie is a warrior whose light cannot be dimmed. 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. Make no mistake, words matter. Hateful words lead to hateful actions. Radical love is the only solution, but passivity will be our downfall. We, as a family, will continue to work for love, equity and justice until it reigns supreme in our nation and all over the world. With love & gratitude, The Smollett Family”

A post shared by Jurnee Smollett Bell (@jurneebell) on

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.
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