Bobby Rush Calls on FBI to Launch Hate Crimes Investigation Into Attack on Jussie Smollett
Empire actor Jussie Smollett was assaulted in Chicago on Tuesday by two men who hurled racial and homophobic slurs while hitting him, doused him in an unknown liquid, and wrapped a rope around his neck. While Chicago police are investigating the attack as a hate crime, Congressman Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) wants to go one step further. Rush sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Wednesday calling for the FBI to launch an immediate and sweeping civil rights investigation into the racist and homophobic attack on Smollett. “This is a hate crime plain and simple and I will not stand by while evil acts are inflicted on any citizen, especially not in my hometown,” Rush said. “I am even more disturbed by the manner in which this crime was carried out, particularly at the media reports of the attempted lynching, which harkens back to some of the darkest days in our history. ... I also call on my colleagues to support my antilynching legislation that will ensure perpetrators receive an enhanced sentence under hate crimes statutes.” The FBI is already investigating a threatening letter targeting Smollett that was sent to the Fox studio in Chicago where Empire is filmed last week. More here.