After the racist and homophobic attack on Jussie Smollett in Chicago on Tuesday morning, leaders from the LGBTQ and black communities are planning a rally to stand in solidarity with the Empire actor in New York City.
According to a press release from the New York City Anti-Violence Project, organizers from the project, Voices of Community Activists & Leaders (VOCAL) and Queerocracy, along with many other supporting organizations, are staging a rally at Manhattan’s Grand Army Plaza on Friday evening.
“The racist and homophobic attack of Jussie Smollett highlights the fear of violence and death that LGBTQ+ persons of color are forced to live with every day,” the statement reads. “As a community, we call for justice for #JussieSmollet.”
Along with supporting Smollett after his attack, the organizers of the event called for justice for Pinky, a transgender woman of color who was shot at a gas station in Houston. “Black trans women are particularly at risk — last week, Pinky, a young black trans woman was shot outside a convenience store in Houston,” the statement said. The victim is currently recovering in a Houston hospital.
According to the Chicago Police Department, Smollett was approached by two masked individuals around 2 a.m. Tuesday morning. The assailants hurled racist and homphobic slurs at Smollett, before beating him, pouring an “unknown chemical substance” on his body and tying a noose around his neck. Smollett transported himself to Northwest Hospital in Chicago and is currently recovering.
The suspects in the case have yet to be apprehended. Police are currently combing through hours of security footage in the surrounding area of where Smollett was attacked trying to find video evidence of the attack. Police have also released photographs of two individuals walking in the surrounding area in an attempt to locate and question them about the attack.
The Solidarity Rally for Jussie Smollett will take place at Grand Army Plaza in Manhattan on Friday at 5 p.m. ET.