CNN anchor Don Lemon refused to call the disturbing Chicago kidnapping and torture video "evil" and instead blamed it on bad parenting.
The man was reported missing on Jan. 2 after his family had not heard from him for two days, CNN reported.
The video showed the victim cowering in a corner with his mouth taped closed. It showed four African-American attackers beating the tied up man and taunting him with abuse.
"F*** Donald Trump! F*** white people!" one of them said during the video, CNN reported.
The victim’s clothing was cut with a knife at one point and part of his scalp was carved.
President Barack Obama described the attack as “despicable.”
Speaking on CNN, host Don Lemon refused to describe the attack as “evil.”
"I don’t think it’s evil," Lemon said, reports The Washington Times. "I think these are young people, and I think they have bad home training. Who’s raising these young people? I have no idea who’s raising these young people, because no one I know on earth who is 17 years old or 70 years old would ever think of treating another person like that. It is inhumane."
The four suspects were identified as Jordan Hill, Tesfaye Cooper, Brittany Covington and Tanishia Covington. All are legally adults.
The four alleged attackers have been charged with hate crimes on the basis of the statements made on the video. This means they could face longer prison terms if convicted. In addition, they face charges of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint and aggravated battery.
Police discovered the victim on a street in the city on Jan. 3.
"He was bloodied, he was battered,” said Officer Michael Donnelly, according to CNN. "He was very discombobulated."
Unsubstantiated social media reports linking the Black Lives Matter movement to the attack circulated.
"This is hate. And hate doesn't have a color," said Dimitri Roberts, a former Chicago police officer. "So for folks to talk about this is somehow connected to Black Lives Matter is absolutely the wrong way to look at this. ... And we cannot respond to hate with hate. It's just going to perpetuate the cycle."