A Chicago court charged four individuals on Jan. 5 after they allegedly tortured an 18-year-old man with mental disabilities, recorded the ordeal and streamed it live on Facebook (video below).
Tanishia Covington, 24, and Jordan Hill, Tesfaye Cooper and Brittany Covington, all 18, will each face charges of aggravated kidnapping, hate crime, aggravated unlawful restraint, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and residential burglary, announced the state attorney of Cook County, Illinois, according to WLS. Hill also faces additional charges of robbery and possessing a stolen motor vehicle.
The video, which made the rounds on the internet after it was posted live to Facebook, shows the victim restrained and with duct tape over his mouth. One of the suspects cuts the man with a knife, while others yell, "F*** white people," and, "F*** Trump."
Officers said that they are investigating the torture as a hate crime because of references that the black suspects made to the white victim's skin color as well as additional comments they made about his mental disability.
"It's sickening," Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said, according to the Chicagoist. "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."
The victim went to school with one of the suspects and spent between 24 and 48 hours with them during the incident, police said. While there may have been a kidnapping, officers say it was more likely that the suspect recognized his classmate and willingly got into a car with them. Investigators are not under the impression that the act was premeditated but believe it may have been fueled by drugs and alcohol, notes WLS.
The victim, who escaped his attackers and was found wandering the streets by police, is back at home and recovering.
"We're so grateful for all the prayers and efforts that led to the safe return of our brother," the victim's brother-in-law, David Boyd, said at a press conference, according to WLS. "We're fully aware of the charges being brought against the offenders. At this time, we ask for continued prayers for all those involved, for our family's privacy as we cope and heal."
Warning: video contains disturbing content.