Brothers Arrested in Apparent Hate Attack on Jussie Smollett Are Released Without Charges
The suspects were arrested Wednesday evening and released on Friday
“Due to new evidence as a result of today’s interrogations, the individuals questioned by police in the Empire case have now been released without charging,” Chicago Police Department Chief Communications Officer Anthony Guglielmi said on Twitter Friday evening.
“Detectives have additional investigative work to complete,” Guglielmi added.
A spokeswoman previously told PEOPLE the pair was arrested Wednesday evening. Because they were not charged, police withheld identifying information about them.
The police spokeswoman also confirmed the suspects are the same people as those previously identified as persons of interest.
An attorney for the men, Gloria Schmidt, told CBS Chicago on Thursday that the men know Smollett from working on Empire and go to the same gym on occasion.
Schmidt did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Officials also recently denied reports that the attack on Smollett was staged.
“While we haven’t found any video documenting the alleged attack, there is also no evidence to say that this is a hoax,” Guglielmi told PEOPLE in a statement. “The alleged victim is being cooperative at this time and continues to be treated as a victim, not a suspect.”
The Chicago Police Department previously confirmed in a statement that a member of the hit Fox show was involved in a “racially-charged assault and battery.”
20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment released a statement Thursday, responding to the claims. “The idea that Jussie Smollett has been, or would be, written off of Empire is patently ridiculous,” the statement said, adding, “He remains a core player on this very successful series and we continue to stand behind him.”
Smollett was also brought in for questioning on Thursday.
During his first in-depth, televised interview with Good Morning America, Smollett broke down in tears when asked if he would be able to heal if his attackers are never found.
“I don’t know. Let’s just hope that they are, you know what I’m saying? Let’s not go there yet,” he said, crying.
“I was talking to a friend and I said, ‘I just want them to find them.’ And she said, ‘Sweetie, they’re not going to find them,’ ” he said. “That just made me so angry. So I’m just going to be left here like this? I’m just going to be left here? They get to go free, go about their life, and possibly attack someone else. And I’m here left with the aftermath? That’s not cool to me. That’s not okay.”
“I understand how difficult it will be to find them but we’ve got to,” he insisted. “I still want to believe, with everything that happened, that there’s something called justice.”
A representative for Smollett has yet to respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.