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Facebook live attack of teen earns four people hate crime charges

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Facebook live attack of teen earns four people hate crime charges

Image: nbcnews.com video screenshot

Facebook live attack of teen earns four people hate crime charges

The attack of a special-needs teen that was streamed on Facebook live has led to four suspects being charged with various charges.

In the 30-minute long video, the suspect is tortured by the four assailants. The 18-year old victim is seen cowering in the corner of a room, tied up with his mouth bound in plastic. Not only was the graphic content of the abuse stunning to the country, so were some of the comments made by the assailants.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he found the video of the attack “sickening.”

“*F*ck Donald Trump!” one attacker shouted in the video. “F*ck white people!”

Police have no evidence that the attack was politically motivated.

A Facebook spokesperson said the original video was taken down. “In many instances, though, when people share this type of content, they are doing so to condemn violence or raise awareness about it,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “In that case, the video would be allowed.”

The victim is apparently white and the four assailants charged are African-American.

(Top, L-R): Jordan Hill, Brittany Covington (Bottom, L-R): Tanishia Covington, Tesfaye Cooper Chicago Police Department - AP

(Top, L-R): Jordan Hill, Brittany Covington (Bottom, L-R): Tanishia Covington, Tesfaye Cooper Chicago Police Department – AP

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 teen was tied up for four or five hours, Cmdr. Kevin Duffin of the Chicago Police Department said. The victim will recover from his injuries and is currently at home, he said.

“We’re so grateful for all the prayers and efforts that led to the safe return of our brother. We’re fully aware of the charges being brought against the offenders. At this time, we ask for continued prayers for all those involved, for our family’s privacy as we cope and heal,” said David Boyd, the teen’s brother-in-law.

During the attack, one of the assailants slashes the victim’s sweatshirt with a knife. Another assailant took a knife to the victim’s head and carved a patch off of his scalp. They repeatedly kicked and punched the victim.

The video was also uploaded to YouTube. The suspects will appear in court on Friday.

“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.

Boyd said the teen is doing as well as he can be expected to. While he did say their entire family had seen the video, he did not comment further on the subject.

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