Four suspects have been charged in relation to the attacking of a special-needs teen which was streamed live on Facebook Wednesday.
Jordan Hill, 18; Tesfaye Cooper, 18; Brittany Covington, 18; and Tanishia Covington, 24, have been charged with a hate crime, felony aggravated kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint, and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
The video was streamed live via Facebook, showing the 18-year-old victim in a corner with his hands and mouth tied. This event is receiving harsh criticism for the brutal abuse of the teen, but also remarks made throughout the video. One attacker yelled,”*F*ck Donald Trump!”, forcing the teen to repeat the phrase. Other comments included, “F*ck white people!”. This made it obvious from the beginning that this was a hate crime.
One assaulter cut the victim’s sweatshirt with a knife while the woman streaming the video turned the camera back on herself. This is followed by cutting a patch of the victim’s hair from his scalp with the knife, leaving him to bleed. He is kicked and punched throughout the video as well.
The victim pleaded out many times for them to stop, but he was ignored. In the background of the video is laughing and yelling from the assailants. This heartbreaking torture went on for 25 minutes on Facebook Live. The woman who was broadcasting the attack even made the remark, “Y’all not even commenting on my s***,” a large cry for attention.
Cmdr. Kevin Duffin of the Chicago Police Department told reporters that the teen was tied up for at least four or five hours. Police said the victim is currently at home with his parents and will recover from injuries.
Duffin also said that this is being treated as a hate crime because of the racial comments made during the attack, the victim’s mental capacity, and the fact that he was tied up.
The four suspects will arrive in court Friday.
Some are saying the Black Lives Matter movement is to blame, while others such as DeRay Mckesson, an outspoken supporter of the movement, say otherwise. The hashtag #BLMKidnapping was mentioned about 480,000 times on Twitter alone following the attack.
It goes without saying that the actions being branded by the far-right as the "BLM Kidnapping" have nothing to do w/ the movement.
— deray mckesson (@deray) January 5, 2017
Mckesson tweeted, “It goes without saying that the actions being branded by the far-right as the ‘BLM Kidnapping’ have nothing to do w/ the movement.”
President Obama, a longtime Chicago resident, suggested that this onslaught was a hate crime, describing it as “despicable”.
“What we have seen as surfacing, I think, are a lot of problems that have been there a long time,” Obama said. “Whether it’s tensions between police and communities, hate crimes of the despicable sort that has just now recently surfaced on Facebook.”
“The good news is that the next generation that’s coming behind us … have smarter, better, more thoughtful attitudes about race,” the president continued.
This is an issue that moves beyond race, party affiliation, or the Black Lives Matter movement. Rather, this hate crime should be condemned by everyone.
It is not biased to believe that the victim was targeted for the color of his skin and support for Trump; it’s common sense that this was a horrendous act of hatred.