The four assailants face hate crime and kidnapping charges after live streaming their disturbing attack against a man with special needs.
Jordan Hill, 18, Tesfaye Cooper, 18, Brittany Covington, 18, and Tanishia Covington, 24, will appear in court on Friday.
All the perpetrators face one count of residential burglary except Covington and Hill has also been charged with robbery and possession of a stolen motor.
Chicago police arrested four African-American teenagers after a disturbing Facebook Live video appeared to show the detainees brutalizing a mentally disabled teenager. The graphic footage, now removed from Facebook, showed the 18-year-old victim sitting gagged and bound in a corner as the assailants cut open his clothes, hair and forehead.
The attackers also kicked and punched the teen several times. At one point, they even made him kneel down and kiss the floor while they shouted “f***Donald Trump” and “f*** white people.”
One of the abusers was heard saying, “I’ll torture the f***out of you” as another added, “There’s going to be a murder here.”
“It's sickening. It makes you wonder what would make individuals treat somebody like that,” said Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. “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.”
The police found the mentally disabled teen wandering the streets, so they took him to the hospital. The victim was so traumatized it took the medical staff a better part of the night to calm him down and get him to open up about his assault.
Later, the cops responded to a call of battery at residence. After viewing the appalling 30-minute-video video that was live streamed, the officer put two-and-two together and realized the disoriented young man was the one in the video, cowering on the floor with his hands tied and a duct tape on his mouth.
Regarding the disturbing video that surfaced on social media of a battery: Incident is under investigation/suspects are being questioned pic.twitter.com/GGi3qs9rGv— Chicago Police (@Chicago_Police) January 4, 2017
The teen, who remains unnamed, was reportedly kidnapped from suburbs and was missing for somewhere between 24 to 48 hours. He also knew one of his attackers from school, so it is possible he got into their van willingly, completely unaware of the horror he would be subjected to.
Moreover, since the victim is white while the assailants are all black and clearly possess anti-white sentiments, the authorities are investigating it as a hate crime.
“Although they are adults, they're 18. Kids make stupid decisions -- I shouldn't call them kids, they're legally adults, but they're young adults and they make stupid decisions," explained Commander Kevin Duffin. "That certainly will be part of whether or not... we seek a hate crime, to determine whether or not this is sincere or just stupid ranting and raving.”
Johnson believes the attack was not politically motivated.
“Some of this is just stupidity,” he added. “People just ranting about something they think might make a headline. We’ll keep investigating, and we’ll let the facts guide us on how this concludes.”
Fair warning: the video below is extremely upsetting.
Banner/Thumbnail Credit: REUTERS, Stephen Lam