RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Chicago police want to talk to “Empire” star Jussie Smollett again after new accusations that he might have staged and planned an attack against himself.
“If this is a hoax, the word disappointment does not describe our feelings,” Diversity Richmond President Bill Harrison said. “We were horrified and I think the idea of the rope around the neck was just about the worse thing that we could possibly imagine."
Smollett accused two men of a homophobic and racial attack outside his Chicago apartment. In a twist of events, police say the two accused men now say the star planned and staged the entire incident.
Reactions poured in as new information comes in surrounding the investigation into the incident.
“If - and I stress 'if’ - this does turn out to be a hoax, he and his two friends should face the ultimate punishment for this,” Harrison said.
Chicago Police have classified Smollet as a suspect but aren’t calling him a victim either.
Harrison said stunts like this can be harmful to the country.
“If it is a lie, then it creates an atmosphere where people are hesitant to come forward when things really do happen in fear that nobody will believe them,” Harrison said. “It can be very difficult for the people to come forward. It can be very embarrassing."
It’s that atmosphere Harrison and his team try to prevent as they say Hate crimes are all too often in the country.
“Police chiefs have assured us that LGBT people when they dial 911 they will be treated fairly,” Harrison said.
As all eyes remain on the investigation, There was a rainbow forming over the diversity Richmond Center. Harrison said no matter the outcome, their team will fight for survivors and those in need.
“The LGBT community will be just, if not more, upset than other people if we realize it’s a hoax, because it’s a negative reflection on our community,” Harrison said.