Jussie Smollett rehearsed the "attack" against him days before the incident and it was all staged for the camera, this according to what the 2 brothers told cops.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ, Abel and Ola Osundairo told cops they got in a car with Jussie and scouted a location, settling on the one right outside the actor's apartment. The brothers said Jussie chose the spot because he believed a camera would have captured the action.
Our sources say the brothers told police Jussie said he wanted to make it a "physical thing," but not to the point he'd be seriously injured.
On the night Jussie says he was attacked, the brothers claim they showed up at the scene but were extremely nervous because, just as they played out the scene, a car drove by and they were worried they'd be ID'd.
Our sources say the brothers performed per the rehearsal -- they screamed out they recognized Jussie from "Empire" and then hurled the racist n-word and the homophobic f-word.
The brothers told cops they "made contact with Jussie's face" but it was "weak." They said they didn't know how he suffered the bruises but the staged fight was not designed to injure him.
TMZ broke the story ... when cops arrived, Jussie took them down to the area he said the "attack" went down and pointed to the camera, saying it was good the incident was captured on video. What he didn't know was that the camera was pointed in the wrong direction and didn't capture the incident.