Following the alleged homophobic and racist attack against "Empire" actor Jessie Smollett early Tuesday morning in Chicago, CBS News said "when police got to his apartment, they said a noose was still around Smollett's neck."
Rob Elgas of WLS-TV in Chicago reported that "when Smollett contacted police at 2:42AM, he was still wearing the rope around his neck. The alleged encounter occurred at 2AM. Police have the rope and it will be analyzed."
It's one of a number of curious details that have emerged following the headline-grabbing incident.
What's the background?
Numerous media outlets ran with a Tuesday TMZ report saying the actor was beaten up after walking out of a Subway restaurant around 2 a.m. by two white men wearing ski masks who asked, "Aren't you that f***ot 'Empire' n*****?" before pouring bleach on him, putting a noose around his neck, and yelling, "This is MAGA country!"
Chicago Police told TheBlaze on Wednesday morning there was "no mention of MAGA" in initial reports. But when detectives followed up with Smollett later on Tuesday, he recalled the offenders making those comments, and detectives completed a supplemental report.
Elgas tweeted that after investigators heard the "MAGA country" claim in the news they called Smollett again, after which he added that information.
Smollet's business manager reported the alleged attack, CBS News said.
USA Today offered the following background on Smollett:
Smollett, who plays gay character Jamal Lyon on "Empire," joined the hit Fox show in 2015. He also starred in the 2017 film "Marshall."
During an appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" in March 2015, Smollett came out as gay himself. He expanded upon his sexuality in an interview with Out Magazine in 2016.
"I am a gay man with an extremely open heart ... If I had to label myself, I would label myself as a gay man," he told the magazine at the time. "If I fall in love down the road with a woman, I'm going to love that woman."
What else has emerged?
According to another tweet from Elgas, "Smollett requested responding Chicago police officers turn off their body cameras as they arrived to take his report. A spokesman says this is not uncommon when officers enter a private residence."
Elgas added that Chicago police have a security image of Smollett alone inside a Subway sandwich shop near the location of the reported crime, and that cops also obtained additional video placing him at the scene of the crime.
But sources told CBS News they've seen security video of Smollett outdoors early Tuesday morning and "nothing of an assault." The network added that detectives have "expanded the search area for video of the alleged assailants but haven't found any footage or witnesses." Twelve detectives and a number of FBI agents are investigating, CBS News added.
NAACP calls out Trump
The NAACP called out President Donald Trump's "racist and xenophobic rhetoric" while decrying the alleged attack against Smollett.
Here's the statement from NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson:
"The recent racist and homophobic attack on acclaimed actor and activist Jussie Smollett is troubling. The rise in hate crimes is directly linked to President Donald J. Trump's racist and xenophobic rhetoric. It is dangerous for any society to allow a tone of divisiveness and hatred to dominate the political discourse. As this rhetoric continues to bleed into our everyday lives, dangerous behavior will continue to place many law-abiding individuals at risk. We pray for a full physical and mental recovery Jussie Smollett and many unnamed victims of this forum of hate based terrorism."
So does Sharpton and Avenatti and others
Al Sharpton said Trump should speak out regarding the incident, particularly because he's the "author and main proselytizer" of the "Make America Great Again" slogan. Michael Avenatti tweeted that the "outrageous criminal conduct ... should be denounced by the WH immediately. This has no place in America. And it all starts at the top."
Outspoken left-wing director Rob Reiner, reacting to the Smollett incident, tweeted that " there is no question that since [Trump] has injected his hatred into the American bloodstream, we are less decent, less human, & less loving."
Activist Amy Siskind had this to say:
Democratic politicians expressed general outrage: