Four Chicago teenagers – including two girls – kidnapped and tortured a special needs boy and streamed it live on Facebook while shouting anti-Trump remarks.
Two men and two women were arrested on Wednesday after police were made aware of the 30-minute video where the victim was being kicked and punched before he had his hair cut until his scalp bled, his clothes cut and had cigarette ash flicked over the wound on his head. Thursday, all offenders have been charged with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and residential burglary. They are all also charged with hate crime, a charge police hesitated on committing to Wednesday night. If convicted, each of them may carry up to a 30-year prison sentence.
Jordan Hill, 18, of Carpentersville, and Tesfaye Cooper, 18, Brittany Covington, 18, and Tanishia Covington, 24, all of Chicago, are expected to appear in bond court Friday, according to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.
Police told the media that they believe one of the 18-year-old teenagers – who held the man hostage in an apartment on the 3400 block of West Lexington on Chicago’s West Side – knew their victim from school and that they had been together in the Northwest part of the city prior to a kidnapping.
The group is believed to have held the young man hostage for one to two days, and reportedly sent text messages to the victim’s parents during the time, which caused them to report their son missing.
The victim said he got into a play fight with one of his kidnappers and a downstairs neighbor called the police because of noise and one of the girls got upset and went to the neighbor who called and kicked in their door, police reported.
The police found the distraught victim walking in shorts outside in freezing temperatures.
The video was originally posted on Facebook Live by Brittany Herring (the name Brittany Covington uses on social media) but since has been deleted from her social media page.
Facebook removed the video and stated that they have an around-the-clock team to watch for any criminal acts that are posted on the social media network.
The twist in this case is that the four kidnappers are black and their victim is white. Someone was heard yelling in the video, ‘F*%^ Donald Trump. F%^& white people.’
The Chicago Police did not immediately state that the incident was a hate crime and TV reports showed several South Side ministers denounce the incident and social media and state that the crime is not representative of black people in general.
President Barack Obama as well blamed technology and social media for broadcasting racist incidents.
Conservative politicians and pundits who supported President-elect Donald Trump condemned the racist act.
After Trump was elected president, incidents have been recorded of students taunting Mexicans with racist slurs in the schools and people being targeted because of their race or identity. Pro-Trump supporters have also spoken about being attacked verbally and physically.
While the city officials and citizens are outraged with this vicious act of violence, Trump has yet to tweet or comment on the recent case.
Chicago News will continue to monitor the situation, check back for updates at www.ChicagoNewsToday.com.