The Chicago Police Department provided an update Friday on the ongoing investigation into the alleged attack on Jussie Smollett that shocked the nation nearly two weeks ago. Thus far, surveillance footage from mutliple sources has turned up empty, and the rope still hanging around Smollett's neck when he arrived at his apartment is turning out to be a key piece of the investigation.
After nearly two weeks of investigating, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday, the Chicago PD "has gathered little traction in finding the perpetrators."
"Police continue to review security camera footage and are trying to identify two people of interest seen walking down the sidewalk in one video. Their faces are silhouetted and not recognizable," the paper reports. "Investigators haven't yet found footage of the attack."
"We’re looking at shreds of detail. We’re painfully slow because we’re methodical," said police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi, the Journal reports.
A key component of the investigation is the rope Smollett says the assaulters terrifyingly wrapped around his neck while attacking him and hurling racial and homophobic slurs and allegedly yelling, "Welcome to MAGA country!"
"Police say they’re trying to determine the origin of the rope that was used in the alleged attack," CBS Chicago reported Thursday. "Detectives are looking into where it came from or where it may have been purchased."
Guglielmi explained that investigators have identified retailers who sell that particularly type of rope and will use that information to glean potential evidence, including any additional surveillance footage, the Journal notes.
Like the Journal, CBS notes in its report that "the alleged attack has not been seen on any surveillance video so far." While police told CBS that they are still in the process of "following up on leads," they have "found nothing new to report from additional video they got over weekend from the hotel and apartment building where Smollett lives, video from another hotel nearby and traffic cameras in the area." An official with the department who reviewed the tapes said the video from Smollett's building shows him "entering with what appears to be a noose around his neck," the outlet reports.
The only surveillance footage that has provided a possible clue about potential perpetrators is footage of two men dressed in dark clothing, but police have thus far been unable to identify them, and some sources close to the police department have suggested to reporters the two men might be homeless. The Daily Wire's Emily Zanotti reports:
Although two individuals were pictured on security cameras near where Smollett says he was attacked, sources close to CPD told local media that those two individuals appear to be homeless and were in the vicinity between 15 and 30 minutes before Smollett arrived back at his apartment on East Water Street, just north of the Chicago River. Chicago Police also reportedly dismissed a neighbor's claim that a "redneck"-looking man was loitering behind Smollett's apartment building, according to Chicago crime watch blog, CWB Chicago.
Sources close to the Chicago Police Department told The Daily Wire that police have filed subpoenas to gain access to Smollett's phone records from the night of the attack, Zanotti reports.