Monday 9 December 2019

Hate crime and assault charges filed after man with 'mental health challenges' tortured live on Facebook

Suspects used profanities about 'white people' and President-elect Donald Trump

Eddie Johnson said the victim, who has
Eddie Johnson said the victim, who has "mental health challenges," is recovering and he called the video "sickening" (AP/Tae-Gyun Kim) Newsdesk Newsdesk

Hate crime and assault charges have been filed against four people over an attack in Chicago 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.

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)

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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