Tesfaye Cooper, Tanishia Covington, Jordan Hill and Brittany Covington have been charged with committing a hate crime after a video was released on Facebook Live showing the torture of a special needs man. They were additionally charged with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. All of the suspects are between the ages of 18 and 24-years-old.The horrific video that has circulated over the last 48 hours on social media shows a man, bound and gagged, being tortured as the kids around him are eating and laughing. The young man's scalp was cut with a knife until it bled, he was kicked, punched, sprinkled with cigarette ashes, and made to drink toilet water, while the words "F*** white people. F*** Donald Trump," were repeated by the attackers.At one point in the video, one woman in the background interjected, "My sister says this not funny, y'all."A man responded. "F*** it, it's funny to me."
Reportedly, one of the attackers knew the victim from school and lured him into the kidnapping, which was committed with a stolen vehicle from the suburbs of Chicago. The man was later found wandering the streets of the 3400 block of Chicago's West Side. He had been reported missing Monday by his parents after dropping him off at a McDonalds in Streamwood, IL, supposedly to meet a friend. Later, the parents began to receive text messages from someone who had claimed to have kidnapped him.“It’s sickening,” Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson told CBS Chicago at a news conference.“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.”While many had already branded this horrible act as a hate crime, others protested the idea, citing that hate crimes are committed against race, religion, gender, or disability, not a political stance. Regardless, the charges have moved forward.Hate crimes can be charged at the state and federal level, so it remains to be seen if further charges will be brought against the group.