January 05, 2017
Chicago police on Thursday were considering filing hate crime charges after a mentally disabled white man was bound, duct-taped and tortured by four blacks who yelled anti-Trump and racial slurs while broadcasting the heinous ordeal on Facebook Live.
Police Supt. Eddie Johnson told reporters Wednesday that two males and two females — including the woman believed to have shot the video — were in custody, though no names or ages of the suspects were given. Formal charges were expected to be filed Thursday, FOX32 Chicago reported.
“It makes you wonder what would make individuals treat somebody like that,” Johnson said. “I’ve been a cop for 28 years and I’ve seen things that you shouldn’t see. It still amazes me how you still see things that you just shouldn’t.”
“I’m not going to say it shocked me, but it was sickening.”
The woman who allegedly recorded the video posted it on her Facebook account and Chicago police were made aware of the footage on Tuesday afternoon. Authorities later found the 18-year-old unidentified victim, who appeared to be disoriented, walking down a street wearing only shorts despite the cold weather.
Police believe the incident began when the victim, who lives in Crystal Lake, met acquaintances in Streamwood, a neighboring suburb. The group then drove to Chicago in a stolen vehicle, FOX32 reported.
The victim was kept tied up with his mouth taped shut in an apartment on the city’s west side. The video showed him cowering in a corner while someone yelled “F— white people!” and “F— Donald Trump!” At one point in the video, the victim was held at knifepoint and told to curse the president-elect.
The video shows the victim being repeatedly kicked and hit, while his scalp was cut. The group also forced the victim to drink water from a toilet.
The suspects can be heard saying they want the video to go viral.
Investigators said late Wednesday the victim was a classmate of one of the suspects, and added he was held in the apartment for at least 24 hours, possibly as long as 48 hours.
Johnson said authorities currently don’t believe the crime was politically motivated, despite the disparaging remarks about Trump.
“I think some of it is just stupidity, people just ranting about something that they think might make a headline,” Johnson said. “I don’t think that at this point we have anything concrete to really point us in that direction, but we’ll keep investigating and we’ll let the facts guide us on how this concludes.”
A Facebook spokesman told The Associated Press the company removed the video because it does “not allow people to celebrate or glorify crimes on Facebook.”