Detectives have reviewed camera surveillance at stores in hopes of finding images of who bought the rope used in a reported attack on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollettlate last month, according to Chicago police.
Chief police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the move is part of a broadening of the investigation. “Detectives have reviewed surveillance videos of the hotels in the area, traffic cameras and of retailers that may have sold the rope,’’ he said.
The rope Smollett said was used in the attack was rope with the thickness of a clothes or laundry line.
No arrests have been made and police still have not located or identified two “persons of interest” whose pictures were circulated by police, Guglielmi said.
A chemical — maybe bleach — was poured on him, police said.
A week earlier, on Jan. 22, witnesses told police a postal worker dropped off a letter at the studio where the show “Empire” is filmed. It was postmarked in southwest suburban Bedford Park on Jan. 18, and bore two American flag stamps. The letters MAGA were written, also in red ink, in the upper-left corner of the envelope.
Police have not said whether they believe the two incidents are related, and so far they are being investigated separately: the letter by the FBI and the alleged attack by Chicago police.
No progress has been reported on the letter and very little on the reported attack. Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Feb. 1 that detectives were “making gains” and he hoped there would a “successful resolution soon.” He offered no details.
Detectives have been able to track stretches of Smollett’s walk between the Subway shop and his apartment building and have found video of two other people in the area at the time. But the images are dark and blurry.