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Four Black Teens Charged with Hate Crime after Torturing White Student in Viral Video
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The four teens arrested for the Chicago Kidnapping. Photos courtesy of Buzzfeed.

Summary: Four teens were arrested for torturing a special needs student in Chicago.

A horrifying torture video was posted on Facebook Live on Tuesday. By Wednesday, the video had gone viral. In the horrifying 30-minute video, four black teenagers appeared to tie up a white teen, verbally abuse him, and scalp him. Today, Chicago police arrested and charged the four assailants with hate crimes and other felonies.


Tesfaye Cooper, 18, Brittany Covington, 18,  and Tanishia Covington, 18, all of Chicago, and Jordan Hill, 18, of Carpentersville, Ill., were charged with aggravated kidnapping, committing a hate crime, aggravated unlawful restraint, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and residential burglary.

The victim was a special needs student who knew one of his alleged attackers. The four had kidnapped him, tied him up, and covered his mouth with tape before torturing him with a knife and cigarettes. In the video, “Fuck Donald Trump, fuck white people” was chanted by one attacker. According to USA Today, the incident had lasted two days, and the video was uploaded to Facebook Live by the account of “Brittany Herring.”


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The video was recorded by one female attacker, who often pointed the camera at herself and seemed to enjoy watching the torture. In the video, two of the males used a knife to cut the victim’s shirt and his scalp. The assailants could also be seen sticking their fingers in the victim’s wound and laughing, appearing to love their evil actions.

On Wednesday, prominent conservative pundits such as Tomi Lahren posted outrage over the video, and the topic trended under the hashtag “#BLMKidnapping.” BLM is a reference to Black Lives Matter, the social justice movement that arose after the murder of unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman. While the teens in the video shouted racial slurs and anti-Trump sentiments, there has not been any evidence presented showing the four’s connection to Black Lives Matters.

Police have released a statement that the victim is now in stable condition but “traumatized.” Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told the Associated Press that police believe the victim was not targeted because of his race. Instead, they think he was attacked for being special needs. Guglielmi acknowledged the racial statements made in the video, but he said there was a possibility that the attackers were financially motivated and wanted to extort the victim’s family.

The victim’s family said that he had gone missing after they had dropped him off at a suburban McDonald’s. The victim voluntarily got into the van with the attackers because he knew one of them from school. The family said that they started to receive texts from a kidnapper while the torture took place.

The four will appear in Cook County Court in Illinois on Tuesday.

What do you think of the teens’ horrible actions? Let us know in the comments below. 


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