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Chicago Beating Video Leads to Hate Crime Charges

Image: Chicago Beating Video Leads to Hate Crime Charges

(L-R) Tesfaye Cooper, Jordan Hill, Tanishia Covington and Brittany Covington of Chicag were charged Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017, with aggravated kidnapping and taking part in a hate crime after allegedly beating and taunting a man in a video broadcast live on Facebook. (Chicago Police Department via AP)

By    |   Friday, 06 Jan 2017 08:30 AM

A Chicago beating video of a mentally disabled man this week has led to hate crime charges against four people.

Authorities said that Jordan Hill, 18; Tesfaye Cooper, 18; Brittany Covington, 18; and Tanishia Covington, 24, were charged with aggravated kidnapping, hate crime, aggravated unlawful restraint, and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Hill was charged additionally with robbery, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, and residential burglary, while both Covingtons were charged with residential burglary, Chicago Police told the newspaper.

They are accused of cutting the scalp of the 18-year-old disabled man, while punching and kicking him and forcing his head into a toilet, the newspaper noted. The suspects were seen on the Facebook Live video screaming racial comments and obscenities about President-elect Donald Trump, per the Tribune. The suspects are all African-American.

"Let me be very clear, the actions in that video are reprehensible," Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said in a news conference Wednesday, WLS-TV reported. "That alone with racism have absolutely no place in the city of Chicago or anywhere else for that matter."

Authorities said that the victim and Hill were acquaintances who met at a school in suburban Aurora, Illinois, reported WLS-TV. The victim's parents said they dropped him off at a McDonald's for a sleepover with Hill, and he was later reported missing, the television station noted.

Police said Hill drove the victim around for two days before taking him to an apartment on Chicago's West Side where he was allegedly assaulted and recorded, WLS-TV reported.

"That's when they tie him up and when the racial slurs and, you know, the deference to his mental capacity starts coming out," Chicago Police Cmdr. Kevin Duffin, said, per WLS-TV. "That's primarily one of the reasons they were charged with the hate crime."

Authorities said an officer found the victim apparently confused and bleeding on Lexington Avenue in west Chicago Tuesday evening wearing a tank top inside out and backwards, jean shorts and sandals, WLS-TV said.

The crime sparked a response from President Barack Obama in a previously planned interview with Chicago media, calling the crime "horrific" and "terrible," WLS-TV noted.

A Facebook representative told ABC News that the social media platform has taken down the video.

"We do not allow people to celebrate or glorify crimes on Facebook and have removed the original video for this reason," Facebook said in the statement. "In many instances, though, when people share this type of content, they are doing so to condemn violence or raise awareness about it. In that case, the video would be allowed."

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A Chicago beating video of a mentally disabled man this week has led to hate crime charges against four people.
chicago, beating, video, hate crime
Friday, 06 Jan 2017 08:30 AM
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