Chicago police officers are not yet ready to call the Facebook live torture video attack of a disabled white Donald Trump supporter by four black teenagers a hate crime. The white teenager was held against his will and then tortured for about 30 minutes in the video before being set free.
“Although they are adults, they’re 18. Kids make stupid decisions — I shouldn’t call them kids; they’re legally adults, but they’re young adults, and they make stupid decisions,” Chicago Police Commander Kevin Duffin said when discussing the possible motivation behind the Facebook live torture video of the disabled white Trump supporter. “That certainly will be part of whether or not we seek a hate crime, to determine whether or not this is sincere or just stupid ranting and raving.”
— Scott Ernst (@ScottErnst0331) January 5, 2017
The unidentified white teenager went to high school with at least one of his attackers and vaguely knew the individual, CNN reports. Although the white Trump supporter may have gotten into the van with his black torturers willingly, Chicago police investigators are still considering levying kidnapping charges against the four suspects. The victim was treated at a local hospital after the attack and is reportedly in stable condition.
The four suspects arrested in connection to the crime include two black females and two black males, all 18 years old. Brittany Herring is one of the four suspects arrested on Tuesday. She also goes by the name Brittany Covington and was allegedly the individual recording the crime, according to the Heavy.
Warning: video contains vulgar language and disturbing images.
The disabled white Trump supporter was bound, gagged, beaten, and had a knife taken to his scalp. The victim was also forced to drink out of a toilet by his attackers. Many times during the streaming of the Facebook live torture video the black teenagers can be heard shouting, “f**k white people,” and “f**k Donald Trump.” The entire torture video was ultimately posted to YouTube and Reddit and quickly went viral.
“It’s sickening,” Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson told local reports, CBS News reports. “It makes you wonder what would make individuals treat somebody like that. I’ve been a cop for 28 years, and I’ve seen things that you shouldn’t see in a lifetime, but it still amazes me how you still see things that you just shouldn’t. I’m not going to say it shocked me, but it was sickening.”
Johnson went on to say he does not think the attack on the Trump supporter was politically motivated. The Chicago police official maintained it is possible the black teenagers may have just been “ranting about something they think might make a headline.”
“I think part of it is just stupidity,” Johnson continued. “At this point we don’t have anything concrete to point [toward a hate crime] but we’ll keep investigating and let the facts guide us on how this concludes.”
Here’s Chicago Police Chief downplaying filmed TORTURE of white, special needs boy as “stupidity.” #BrittanyHerring pic.twitter.com/bEvhTFZgM3
— John Binder???? (@JxhnBinder) January 5, 2017
The possible hate crime happened on Tuesday in an apartment in the 3400 block of West Lexington on Chicago’s West Side, police said. The disabled white Trump supporter was reportedly held captive for about 48 hours before he was released and found in a state of shock wandering around the neighborhood where the attack occurred.
Three of the suspects in the Facebook live torture video attack are from Chicago and one is from Carpentersville, a suburb located northwest of the city. According to the police commander, the victim and suspect from Carpentersville are believed to have met in the suburbs, where the four black teens stole a van and coaxed the disabled white Trump supporter inside before driving back into Chicago.
Social media comments and debate about the attack on the mentally challenged white teenager hit a fever pitch on Wednesday evening. Some posters have alleged the four black teenagers arrested in connection with the Chicago attack are Black Lives Matter (BLM) activists. The hashtag, #BLMkidnapping is now trending. Other posters maintain the world needs to follow the lead of law enforcement officials and hold off calling the brutality shown in the Facebook live torture video a hate crime until all the facts are known.
The parents of the disabled white Trump supporter said their son went missing on December 31. The worried loved ones reportedly told Chicago police officers they received text messages from their son while he was with his captors, WLS-TV reports. The young man in the Facebook live torture video lives with his parents in Streamwood, Illinois – a Chicago suburb.
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