4 Charged With Hate Crime After Video of Beating Goes Viral

Suspects in Facebook Live video overheard saying they hoped video would go viral
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2017 6:03 AM CST
Updated Jan 5, 2017 1:06 PM CST
Suspects Heard Saying They Hoped Video of Beating Would Go Viral
A screenshot of the Facebook video.   (YouTube)

Four people have been arrested and charged with a hate crime in the beating of an 18-year-old with mental disabilities that was broadcast on Facebook Live in what a police rep is calling a "reprehensible" 30-minute video. The man's parents had dropped him off at a McDonald's in Streamwood, Ill., on Saturday, and police believe acquaintances took him to Chicago in a stolen vehicle. His parents reported him missing on Monday and subsequently began receiving text messages from someone "claiming to be holding him captive," police say, per the Chicago Tribune. Officers soon after found the video showing people cutting the shirt of a white man with tape over his mouth, cutting into his scalp, kicking and hitting him, forcing him to drink from a toilet, and yelling "f--- Trump" and "f--- white people," reports Fox 32.

The man, found wandering a Homan Square neighborhood on Tuesday, was "traumatized" after at least 24 hours in captivity and taken to a hospital for treatment. Two men and two women—including one individual who went to school with the victim—have now been arrested, reports CNN. "It's sickening. It makes you wonder what would make individuals treat somebody like that," says Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. The group in the video had expressed hope that it would go viral. Charged with a hate crime, as well as kidnapping, unlawful restraint, and battery with a deadly weapon, per WLS: Tanishia Covington, 24, and Jordan Hill, Tesfaye Cooper, and Brittany Covington, all 18. Cooper and Brittany Covington were also charged with burglary, while Hill got hit with that plus a robbery charge, NBC News reports. All four are expected in court on Friday. (More Facebook Live stories.)

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