Cook County Prosecutor Recuses Herself From Smollett Case

February 19, 2019 - 10:05 pm
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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) – The Cook County state's attorney announced Tuesday she is recusing herself from the investigation into an alleged hate attack on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett.

State’s Attorney Kim Foxx may know people who are potential witnesses, spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said, without offering details.

"Out of an abundance of caution, the decision to recuse herself was made to address potential questions of impartiality based upon familiarity with potential witnesses in the case," Simonton said.

Smollett said he was attacked early Jan. 29 in the Streeterville neighborhood by two men who yelled homophobic and racial slurs at him and put a noose around his neck. Smollett is African American and openly gay.

Chicago police say they have not recovered any surveillance video that shows an attack, and they have questioned two persons of interest. Various reports say the pair are associated with the “Empire” show and are cooperating with authorities.

A police spokesman said information from the two men has “shifted the trajectory of the investigation” and detectives wish to interview Smollett again.