Saturday 19 August 2017

Four charged over 'sickening' attack streamed on Facebook

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson described the attack as 'sickening' (Tae-Gyun Kim/AP)
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson described the attack as 'sickening' (Tae-Gyun Kim/AP)

Hate crime and assault charges have been filed against four people over an attack on a man with special needs which was streamed live on Facebook.

Prosecutors in Cook County, Illinois, announced charges against three 18-year-olds - Jordan Hill, Brittany Covington and Tesfaye Cooper - and 24-year-old Tanishia Covington.

The group have also been charged with kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint and assault with a deadly weapon. Three of them have additionally been accused of burglary.

The charges stem from an incident which lasted 48 hours and targeted a white man police described as having "mental health challenges". All those charged are black.

"He's traumatised by the incident, and it's very tough to communicate with him at this point," police commander Kevin Duffin said.

Excerpts of the video show the victim with his mouth taped shut slumped in a corner. He has a wound on his head, and a red band appears to be around his hands.

Police superintendent Eddie Johnson described the video as "sickening", and added: "It makes you wonder what would make individuals treat somebody like that."

The investigation began on Monday after officers found a man "in distress" and "in crisis" walking on a street.

The man was taken to hospital, and it was later discovered that he had been reported missing from a Chicago suburb.

At about the same time, police took several people into custody at a nearby address where they found signs of a struggle and property damage. Investigators determined that the missing man had been at the same address.

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