Chances are, even if you are not a media hound, you’ve heard of the “Chicago 4” — the foursome that was recently arrested for the Facebook Live-aired kidnapping and torture of a mentally disabled teen. As reported by the Inquisitr, the Facebook photos of Tanishia Covington, Brittany Herring-Covington, Tesfaey Cooper and Jordan Hill, at least for the females, weren’t too hard to find. The mugshots of Covington, Herring, Cooper and Hill were really easy to find — once the Chicago Police Department released photos of the “Chicago 4,” they’ve been plastered everywhere. The Associated Press has images readily available of the foursome for reporters to use. Even Getty Images, whose focus tends to lean toward entertainment, movie premieres and sports at times, has plenty of photos of the “Chicago 4” for journalists to include in articles, as has been done above.
Chance are, even if you are a media hound, you may not have heard the name John R.K. Howard. As reported by the Inquisitr, John R.K. was a 19-year-old football player who made the news for raping a mentally disabled teen with a coat hanger. Witnesses reported that John kicked the coat hanger into the rectum of the mentally disabled teen until his anus bled. As reported by the Washington Post, Howard raped his mentally disabled teammate on October 22, 2015. Howard now resides in Keller, Texas, and John R.K. was able to make a splash in the news for getting away with the heinous rape of the mentally disabled teen by walking away from prison after copping to a plea deal that awarded John R.K. with only 300 community service hours and two or three years of probation.
Tanner Ward brutally sexually assaulted mentally disabled African American classmate. No jail time, insignificant media coverage pic.twitter.com/UA8ZB4hzFT— Jesse Michaels (@jesse9michaels) January 6, 2017
A search for “John R.K. Howard” and “John Howard” in both Associated Press and Getty Images photo services results in no mugshots readily findable for reporters to use — unlike the readily findable mugshots of the “Chicago 4” above. Whereas a petition has grown to more than 2,000 signatures — as reported by the Inquisitr — which asks Trump’s White House to sentence the “Chicago 4” to prison for life, folks are still waiting to see if John R.K. will walk away scot-free in February, when Howard’s final sentence is to be determined, as reported by the Twin Falls Times-News. Granted, John R.K.’s rape of the mentally disabled teen was not broadcast on Facebook Live for the world to see. If it were, there’s no telling if the actions of Howard and Tanner Ward — Tanner rammed the coat hanger into the anus of the mentally disabled teen before John R.K. kicked it in farther “five or six times” — would have brought more media attention and harsher punishments to the rapists, such as the “Chicago 4” have gotten.
Facebook beating of disabled white teen becomes conservative rallying cry https://t.co/Bu2GWEmOKx John R. K. Howard raped black disable teen— Mary Reed (@marsam22reed) January 7, 2017
In order to find photos of John R.K. and Tanner, reporters have to turn to social media. Only photos of the high school where the rape occurred can be found in the Associated Press image service — as published above. Social media is noticing the disparity in attention. Folks are also reeling over the fact that Deputy State Attorney General Casey Hemmer called John R.K. and Tanner’s rape of the mentally disabled teen “egregious,” but also shockingly said John R.K. should not “suffer the consequences of a sex offender.”
A person only needs to turn to social media and place the names of the “Chicago 4” into Facebook or Twitter’s search engine — coupled with the word “death” — to find people calling for the death penalty for the foursome. Or, they’ll find those who are willing to put the “Chicago 4” to death by their own hands. Some of those people are largely silent on the case of John R.K. and Tanner — although the huge disparity in punishment and attention is gaining steam online.
[Featured Image by Chicago Police Department/AP Images]