Update: The four arrested are being charged with hate crimes. According to WLS-TV, Tesfaye Cooper, 18, Brittany Covington, 18, Brittany Covington, 18, and Tanishia Covington, 24, all of Chicago, and Jordan Hill, 18, of Carpentersville, Ill., were each charged with aggravated kidnapping, hate crime, aggravated unlawful restraint, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and residential burglary.
Updated January 5: Black Lives Matter has spoken about the attack.
Four arrests have been made in Chicago after a disturbing video of a young man being tortured was broadcast on Facebook Live.
The video of the gruesome attack lasted 30 minutes and showed a bound and gagged man huddled in a corner as his attackers, who included two women, laughed at him and shouting “fuck Donald Trump” and “fuck white people.”
His attackers can be seen torturing him throughout the ordeal. At one point, one of them cuts into his scalp with a knife. The video has since been removed from Facebook but can be found elsewhere.
(Warning: viewer discretion is advised)
In a statement to the press, police superintendent Eddie Johnson said that his force became aware of the video on Tuesday. Patrol officers found the young man walking around dazed and disoriented on Wednesday afternoon and brought him to a hospital for medical treatment.
Police described the victim as an 18-year-old with special needs, whom they believe was abducted.
They say that the victim knew at least one alleged assailant from school, and that he may have willingly got into a van with the group. Officers are considering kidnapping charges.
“It’s sickening,” said Johnson. “It makes you wonder what would make individuals treat somebody like that.”
Because the attackers are black and the victim is white, the police are also considering whether to file it as a hate crime due to the racially-charged statements made by the victim’s attackers in the live broadcast.
Johnson stated the possibility that the statements they made in the video were just “stupidity” rather than a politically-motivated attack on Trump supporters.
“I think some of it is just stupidity, people just ranting about something that they think might make a headline. I don’t think that at this point we have anything concrete to really point us in that direction, but we’ll keep investigating and we’ll let the facts guide us on how this concludes,” Johnson said.
“If you commit an act of violence in the city of Chicago you will experience the full weight of the Chicago Police Department,” he said. “Tonight four individuals have felt the consequences of their actions.”
January 5 Update: Black Lives Matter Chicago and Deray McKesson are distancing the movement from the disgusting attack.
Some people are disgusting. Your making jokes!?What happened to the teenager is terrible & tragic. However it has nothing to do with BLM. pic.twitter.com/f7qit5Ym6z
— BLMChicago (@BLMChi) January 5, 2017
It goes without saying that the actions being branded by the far-right as the "BLM Kidnapping" have nothing to do w/ the movement.
— deray mckesson (@deray) January 5, 2017