Thursday, Dec 01, 2022

Beating on video began after friendly encounter: Chicago Police

The alleged attackers will also face charges of kidnapping and battery for the assault, which was captured on cellphone video by one of the assailants and viewed by millions on social media.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson speaks during a news conference Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017, on the hate crime and other charges filed against four individuals for an attack on a man that was captured on a Facebook video. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune via AP) Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson speaks during a news conference Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017, on the hate crime and other charges filed against four individuals for an attack on a man that was captured on a Facebook video. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune via AP)

The two 18-year-olds had been schoolmates, police say. After meeting at McDonald’s, they spent two days together, driving around visiting friends. Then a pretend fight between them escalated into a brutal beating of a mentally disabled teenager that has stirred racial tensions and outrage after being broadcast on Facebook Live.

How the white suburban teen ended up beaten by four black people, threatened with a knife and taunted with profanities against white people and President-elect Donald Trump is among the puzzles authorities are still trying to piece together after the four were charged with hate crimes on Thursday. The alleged attackers will make their first appearance in court Friday, when they also face charges of kidnapping and battery for the assault, which was captured on cellphone video by one of the assailants and viewed by millions on social media.

Watch What Else Is Making News

“This should never have happened,” said David Boyd, the victim’s brother-in-law at a brief news conference in suburban Chicago. He said the victim was traumatized but doing as well as could be expected. Neal Strom, who is acting as a family spokesman, told The Associated Press that the victim has had “profound emotional and physical disabilities throughout his life.” He did not elaborate.

Subscriber Only Stories
JK Cement’s SPSU Udaipur Launches ‘Golden Batch 2022’ In Collaboration Wi...Premium
Appendicitis in Children- A new lifestyle disorderPremium
Using evidence will create strong foundations for the future of education...Premium
Re-Defining The Tradition In Folk Art: An Art Educator’s PerspectivePremium

The uproar over the beating has intensified the glare on Chicago after a bloody year of violent crime and protests against Mayor Rahm Emanuel and a police department that has been accused of brutality and hushing up wrongdoing. The department has also been the subject of a long civil-rights investigation by the Justice Department, which is expected to report its findings soon. It also stirred emotions still raw after a nasty presidential election campaign that split the nation.

The case heightened political tensions on social media, with some conservatives suggesting it was linked to the Black Lives Matter movement. Police said there was no indication of any connection. The cruelty of the attack and the intense social media exposure prompted President Barack Obama to respond, calling it “despicable.”

“I take these things very seriously,” he told Chicago’s WBBM-TV on Thursday. But he said the incident does not mean that race relations have gotten worse. “We see visuals of racial tensions, violence and so forth because of smartphones and the internet and media … a lot of the problems that have been there a long time,” he said.

Chicago police initially said the youth was singled out because he has “special needs,” not because he was white. But authorities later said the charges resulted from both the suspects’ use of racial slurs and their references to the victim’s disability. Cook County prosecutors identified the suspects as Brittany Covington and Tesfaye Cooper, both of Chicago, and Jordan Hill, of suburban Carpentersville. All are 18. A fourth suspect was identified as Covington’s 24-year-old sister, Tanishia Covington, also of Chicago.

Advertisement

Excerpts of the video posted by Chicago media outlets show the victim with his mouth taped shut and slumped in a corner of a room. At least two assailants are seen cutting off his sweatshirt, and others taunt him off camera. The video shows a wound on the top of the man’s head. One person pushes the man’s head with his or her foot. A red band also appears to be around the victim’s hands. He was tied up for four to five hours, authorities said.

The incident began Dec. 31, when the victim and alleged assailant Jordan Hill, met at a suburban McDonald’s to begin what both the victim and his parents believed would be a sleepover, police said. Instead, Hill drove the victim around in a stolen van for a couple of days, ending up at a home in Chicago, where two of the other suspects lived, Detective Commander Kevin Duffin said.

The victim told police what began as playful fighting escalated. A downstairs neighbor who heard noises threatened to call police. When two of the suspects left and kicked down the neighbor’s door, the victim escaped. A police officer later spotted the bloodied and obviously disoriented man wandering down a street. The grandmother of Brittany Covington said the granddaughter she raised from infancy is “not this person.”

Advertisement

“I’m so upset, my head is about to bust open,” said Priscilla Covington of Chicago. “I don’t know if someone influenced her … She had her ups and down. (She) was a good person. I’m so confused.”

First published on: 06-01-2017 at 02:24:20 pm
Next Story

SSC extends CHSL 2016’s registration date, know who all can apply

Latest Comment
Post Comment
Read Comments
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
close