07 January 2017

Four Black Chicago Teens Charged With Hate Crime

Black Chicago Teens
A report from PEOPLE has confirmed that the four Chicago teens accused of allegedly kidnapping and torturing a young man for hours while broadcasting the attack online have been charged with hate crimes.

Jordan Hill, Tesfaye Cooper, Brittany Covington and Tanishia Covington, all 18, are facing felony charges after they allegedly videotaped kidnapping and beating a man, according to a State’s Attorney news release obtained by PEOPLE.

The 30-minute video, allegedly taken by one of the female suspects, depicts a white man tied up, his mouth covered, cowering in a corner of a room. His attackers, all apparently black according to NPR and the Washington Post, surround him, laughing and shouting "Donald Trump" and "white people," as they kick and punch him, before cutting his forehead with a knife.

At one point during the video, one of the female suspects appears to promote her profile on Soundcloud, the music sharing website.

The 18-year-old victim was found wandering the streets late in the afternoon on 2 January, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The victim was detained for at least 24 hours and is "traumatized," said Area North Commander Kevin Duffin.

Police said they believe the man, who is mentally disabled, was missing from his home and may have been attacked at a home about a block from where he was found by police, the Tribune reports.

The four were taken into custody last 3 January after the video was uploaded to YouTube.

"If you commit an act of violence in the city of Chicago, you will experience the full weight of the Chicago Police Department," Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said at a press conference.

"Tonight, four individuals have felt the consequences of their actions."

Authorities said the victim knew at least one of the suspects from a school in the suburbs, according to CNN. He may have voluntarily gotten into a van with the group, but police are considering kidnapping charges.

According to the press release, Tanishia Covington has been charged with aggravated kidnapping, hate crime, aggravated unlawful restraint and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Brittany Covington and Cooper face the same charges, and also face residential burglary charges.