Four African-Americans have been charged with hate crimes by Chicago police after allegedly assaulting a white man with special needs and broadcasting the attack on Facebook Live. The alleged attackers beat and tortured their victim while yelling insults about white people and Donald Trump.
The 18-year-old man, who has been described as having 'mental health challenges', was reported missing on Monday by his parents. According to the Chicago Tribune, he was dropped off on New Year's Eve by a McDonald's in Chicago to meet a friend to spend the night with, or so his parents thought. The man was a victim of an assault, recorded and shared as a 28-minute video via live streaming service Facebook Live, while the victim's parents were reportedly receiving texts from someone claiming to hold their son captive.
The video shows the victim with his mouth taped shut as he slumps in the corner. His hands were also bound together, while the video shows a cut on top of his head. Two of the alleged assailants cut off his sweatshirt as insults can be heard from off-camera, including "F*** white people" and "F*** Donald Trump" as another pushes his head with their foot. The victim is said to represent Trump, roughly half way through the video, which only shows a portion of the attack. The Chicago Police Department believe that the video is "credible".
The victim was tied up for about 4 to 5 hours, during which time he was forced to drink from a toilet. He then managed to escape after a downstairs neighbor threatened to call the police. Two alleged attackers then responded by kicking the good neighbor's door in. Once the video was discovered by suburban police, authorities in Chicago contacted them to say that they had found the missing individual wandering the streets. Police were then called to a home near where the man was found, where they discovered signs of a struggle. Four people were taken into custody.
Three of the suspects are 18 years of age, while the fourth is 24. They were charged with hate crimes, kidnapping, aggravated battery, and aggravated unlawful restraint. Three of the suspects were also charged with burglary. Investigators said the victim was with his attackers, including his friend Jordan Hill, for up to 48 hours. The victim was later hospitalized with undisclosed injuries and was later released.
Chicago has just ended its deadliest year since 1997. 762 murders were recorded in the city in 2016. Despite only being America's third largest city, the number of murders exceeds that of both New York City and Los Angeles combined. Despite the racist abuse in the video, police believe that the victim was not targeted for being white, but rather because of his disabilities.
Here is a short excerpt from the Facebook Live broadcast. Viewer discretion is advised.