Update, 5:30 p.m. Eastern: The FBI has opened an investigation into hate mail sent to Jusssie Smollett a week before this incident.
Actor Jussie Smollett has been hospitalized after an apparent hate crime in Chicago.
The Empire star was stopped around 2 a.m. on Tuesday by two men wearing ski masks who began yelling racial and homophobic slurs. They then placed a noose around his neck. The two men began to punch him and then pour an unknown substance on Smollett.
"This is MAGA country," the men then yelled, the Chicago police tell The Advocate, referencing interviews with Smollett after the attack.
The actor was able to self-transport himself to an area hospital where he is now in good condition and cooperating with Chicago detectives.
The attack is being investigated as a possible hate crime.
“Given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime,” a police spokesperson stated.
As news of the attacks spread on Tuesday, politicians began to speak out the attack on Smollett.
Presidential hopeful Sens. Kamala Harris and Cory Booker used the incident to highlight their anti-lynching legislation that now awaits Congresses vote after passing through the Senate.
“It’s outrageous. I know Jussie -- he is one of the kindest most gentle people I have ever met,” Harris said on the Senate floor on Tuesday afternoon. “It’s awful.”
Booker used his Twitter to voice similar concerns and push Congress to pass their bill with “urgency.”
The vicious attack on actor Jussie Smollett was an attempted modern-day lynching. I'm glad he's safe.
To those in Congress who don't feel the urgency to pass our Anti-Lynching bill designating lynching as a federal hate crime– I urge you to pay attention. https://t.co/EwXFxl5f2m
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) January 29, 2019
Both elected officials confirmed to The Advocate that this attack is one of the reasons why they are fighting to have lynching included within federal hate crime laws.
This story is developing...