In this May 14, 2018 file photo, Jussie Smollett, a cast member in the TV series "Empire," attends the Fox Networks Group 2018 programming presentation afterparty in New York. Chicago police have opened a hate crime investigation after a man the departmen

(Photo credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Chicago Police Now Say Jussie Smollett Assault Case Has 'Shifted'

February 16, 2019

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago police say "the trajectory of the investigation" into the reported attack on Jussie Smollett has shifted and they want to conduct another interview with the "Empire" actor.

Chicago police late Friday released without charges two Nigerian brothers they had detained for questioning earlier in the week.

On Saturday, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi issued a statement saying: "We can confirm that the information received from the individuals questioned by police earlier in the Empire case has in fact shifted the trajectory of the investigation. We've reached out to the Empire cast member's attorney to request a follow-up interview."

Related: Police Questioning 'Persons of Interest' In Smollett Case

Smollett, who is black and gay, has said he was attacked by two masked men shouting racial and anti-gay slurs and "This is MAGA country!" He said they looped a rope around his neck before running away as he was out getting food at a Subway restaurant early on Jan. 29. He said they also poured some kind of chemical on him.

Police have been unable to find surveillance video of the attack.

A spokeswoman for Smollett did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Guglielmi's statement.