Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told reporters that if police suspect the report of a racially motivated attack on "Empire" star Jussie Smollett is a hoax, he will be held accountable.
Johnson said that police have no reason to suspect that Smollett invented the attack or exaggerated his account of it, but the possibility of a hoax could lead to criminal consequences for the television star.
"#ChicagoPolice Supt Eddie Johnson says #JussieSmollett is still being treated as the victim in this case but if the investigation does reveal he made a false report he will be held accountable," reported Rafer Weigel of Fox-32 Chicago.
Smollett told police that he had been assaulted by two white males who yelled homophobic and racist slurs at him, put a noose over his neck, and poured bleach him. He also claimed one yelled, "this is MAGA country," a reference to the slogan of the Trump campaign.
Some on social media have cast aspersions on his claims, but the police have indicated that they are treating the report as serious while they investigate.
Police have asked for help from the public in identifying two persons of interest that were caught on surveillance recordings near the site of the attack on the same night. They are also investigating the source of the rope that Smollett said his attackers used.
Here's the latest in the Smollett investigation:
Jussie Smollett says he fought back in alleged hate-crime attack www.youtube.com