Four Chicago residents were in police custody on Thursday after a disturbing half-hour-long Facebook Live video appeared to show a young man being repeatedly assaulted, tied up, and verbally harassed as the suspect shouted obscenities about Donald Trump.
In the video, posted online Tuesday, a young white man appears to be bound and, at one point, gagged. A young black man is seen cutting the victim’s clothes off with a knife and cutting off a chunk of his hair, which appears to draw blood. Later, a suspect threatens the victim with a knife. Much of the video focuses on a young black woman laughing and smoking as she turns the camera to face the victim and other people.
“Fuck white people! Fuck Donald Trump,” one suspect said.
Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said in a news conference on Wednesday the treatment of the victim was especially disturbing given the young man’s “mental health challenges.”
“It’s sickening,” Johnson said. “It makes you wonder, what would make individuals treat somebody like that?”
The victim, who was reported missing from his suburban Chicago home, knew one of his attackers from school, Chicago Police Cmdr. Kevin Duffin said, and initially went voluntarily into a stolen van headed to the city. After being held for hours by his captors, the victim was spotted by officers on Chicago’s West Side after officers saw he was in distress. He was treated at a local hospital and is in stable condition but traumatized.
“It took most of the night for him to calm down enough to talk with us,” Duffin said.
Police later responded to a home on the 3300 block of Lexington, not far from where they picked up the disoriented victim, and found evidence that linked the victim to the home.
Later on Thursday afternoon, CNN reported that the four suspects, identified as Jordan Hill, 18; Tesfaye Cooper; 18; Brittany Covington, 18; and Tanishia Covington, 24, were each booked on hate crime, felony kidnapping, and battery with a deadly weapon charges. Police had earlier said that all four suspects were 18.
You can watch the full video below via YouTube. WARNING: EXTREMELY DISTURBING CONTENT:
Note: This post has been updated to include the criminal charges against the suspects.