Rush Calls for FBI Investigation into Smollett Attack

Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) has called on FBI Director Christopher Wray to conduct a "sweeping" civil rights investigation into the racist and homophobic attack on Empire star Jussie Smollett and has called for support of "anti-lynching legislation.

According to CNN, Smollett was attacked Tuesday (Jan. 29) "by two people who were 'yelling out racial and homophobic slurs' and 'poured an unknown chemical substance on the victim,' according to police. In addition, one of Smolletts assailants put a rope around his neck. 

Related: 'Empire' Star Jussie Smollett Attacked

“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," said Rush. "Jussie Smollett has brought pride to Chicago and made our great city his second home with his trailblazing portrayal of Jamal Lyon on the Fox series ‘Empire’. I am more even 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 thank the Chicago Police Department and FBI for their swift action and thorough investigation. I also call on my colleagues to support my antilynching legislation that will ensure perpetrators receive an enhanced sentence under hate crimes statutes,” said Rush.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.