Hate crime charges filed in Chicago torture case


Hate crime charges have been filed against four people in Chicago following the appearance of a Facebook Live video showing the torture of a mentally disabled teen, police announced Thursday afternoon.

“The actions in that video are reprehensible. And that, along with racism have absolutely no place in the city of Chicago or anywhere else for that matter, against anyone, regardless of their race, gender, state of mental health or any other identifying factor,” Superintendent of Police Eddie T. Johnson said Thursday.

The disturbing footage, which spread widely online Wednesday, features four seemingly black attackers shouting “f— Donald Trump” and “f— white people” while torturing an apparently white victim, though police did not state the races of the attackers or their victim on Wednesday night. 

Jordan Hill, 18, of Carpentersville, Ill.; Tesfaye Cooper, 18, of Chicago; Brittany Covington, 18, of Chicago; and Tanishia Covington, 24, of Chicago, have been charged in relation to the clip Thursday.

{mosads}, The Chicago Tribune reports that all four each face one count each of aggravated kidnapping, hate crime, aggravated unlawful restraint and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

Hill was also charged with one count each of robbery, possession of a stolen motor vehicle and residential burglary, while Cooper and Brittany Covington were separately charged with residential burglary.

Police said Hill at some point attended the same school in Chicago’s suburbs as the victim, an 18-year-old man who was reported missing in Crystal Lake, Ill., this week and has not been publicly named.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a press conference late Wednesday that investigators believe the man was targeted because of his special needs, rather than his race.

It’s not clear why President-elect Donald Trump’s named was uttered during the attack. When asked Thursday whether the victim voted for Trump or if the suspects knew how (or if) the man had voted, police said, “no.” 

Guglielmi added, however, police and prosecutors still considered hate crime charges due to the victim’s disabilities and the remarks the attackers uttered on video.

“It makes you wonder what would make individuals treat somebody like that,” Johnson said during Wednesday night’s conference. “I’m not going to say it shocked me, but it was sickening.”

“I’ve been a cop for 28 years and I’ve seen things that you shouldn’t see. It still amazes me how you still see things that you just shouldn’t.”

Video of the attack shows the victim with his wrists bound and mouth taped before two men begin hurting him. The pair punch and stomp the victim, with one ultimately cutting his hair and scalp with a knife as a woman films the abuse.

Footage of the incident was widely shared after it hit YouTube late Wednesday.


Tags Blacks Chicao Crime Donald Trump Illinois Police whites

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