On Friday it became known that a Cook County judge denied bail for the four Black Chicago teenagers who have been accused of torturing a mentally disabled white teen and broadcasting it live through Facebook.
When the four appeared in front of Cook County Associate Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil, she posed a question which has plagued many since the release of the heart-wrenching video.
“I’m looking at each of you and wondering where was the sense of decency that each of you should have had. I don’t see it.”
The announcement that no bail would be granted for the four teenagers a relative of the victimized boy clapped and loudly exclaimed, “Yes,” while others cheered.
Brittany Covington, her 24-year-old older sister Tanisha Covington, Tesfaye Cooper, and Jordan Hill are the four accused in the torture and hate crime case. Three of the suspects are only 18-years-old, the same as the victim. Hill was from suburban Carpentersville while the others are from Chicago. Tanishia Covington was the one who lived in the apartment on the 3300 block of West Lexington Street where the assault is said to have taken place. For the parts they played in the torture of the mentally disabled teenager, the four are being charged with hate crimes, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and aggravated unlawful restraint.
Before the suspects were arrested, Jordan Hill had been contacted over Facebook by the victim’s mother asking where her son was and demanded $300 from her. Hill will also face robbery charges, possession of a stolen motor vehicle as well as residential burglary. Police said the two Covington sisters would also be charged with residential burglary.
According to the San Francisco Gate, about a dozen deputies from the sheriff’s office were among those providing extra security at the hearing.
The black teens used Facebook to live stream as they assaulted the white suburban mentally ill teenager in a racially-charged attack. The victim had his head repeatedly forced into a toilet after being threatened with a knife. The assailants were also seen cutting into the victim’s scalp, kicked and punched all the while laughing as they taunted him with profanities against white people in general as well as President-elect Donald Trump.
The police have said that all four of the black teenagers have given statements admitting the role they played in the alleged attack on the white mentally disabled man. The Chicago Tribune wrote that despite initial uproar from a public who believed otherwise, police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said that there “was never a question” that the case would be investigated as a hate crime.
The victim was found walking with Jordan Hill in the 3400 block of West Lexington Street at about 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday. The victim appeared to be “bloodied,” “battered,” and “discombobulated.” Despite the freezing temperatures, he was also wearing very little clothing. After running his name, they discovered that he had been reported missing since Monday; his parents said he had disappeared after being dropped off at a McDonald’s to meet up with Hill on Saturday. The two knew each other before the attack as they attended the same school in Aurora.
The vehicle Hill is facing charges for was one he is accused of stealing in Streamwood before he picked up the victim and passed it off as his own. He and the victim went to Chicago and at some point ended up at the Covington’s apartment. The reports indicate that Hill and the victim got into a “play fight” which escalated before the sisters got angry and taped up the mentally ill 18-year-old’s mouth, hands, and feet with orange electrical tape.
The video streamed to Facebook is 28 minutes long and heart wrenching to watch as the victim sits crouched in a corner, a look of fear on his face as he was tortured. It is believed that he was tied up for about four to five hours. The video has been viewed millions of times over social media.
[Featured Image by Chicago Police Department]