4 in custody after Facebook video shows group beating disabled man while railing against Trump and whites, Chicago police say – The Washington Post
foto – Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson arrives at a news conference announcing the department’s plan to hire nearly 1,000 new police officers in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., September 21, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young
washingtonpost.com – 4 in custody after Facebook video shows group beating disabled man while railing against Trump and whites, Chicago police say –
The shaky video shows a young man in a gray hooded sweatshirt and dark pants crouching in a corner, his wrists and neck bound with orange bands, his mouth taped shut.
A young woman films as two young men slash the sleeves of his shirt with knives, then take turns punching him, slapping him and stomping on his head. At one point, one of the men can be seen cutting the victim’s hair and scalp with a knife, and the victim is later shown bleeding from his injuries.
As the victim cowers with his back to the wall, someone can be heard repeatedly shouting, “f— Donald Trump” and “f— white people.”
Throughout the 28-minute video, the group can be heard laughing, joking and listening to music as the victim sits motionless on the floor. About halfway through, one of the suspects says the man “represents Trump,” and threatens to put him in the trunk of a car and “put a brick on the gas.”
It’s unclear what happens to the victim when the video cuts off.
Chicago police said they found the disoriented victim walking down the street Tuesday in shorts, despite the frigid cold, and took him to the hospital for treatment. They said he was mentally disabled and appeared to be “in crisis.” Shortly after, police said, they responded to a battery call at a nearby residence and took four suspects — two adult males and two adult females — into custody.
On Wednesday, those four people were being held on suspicion of beating and torturing the man in an attack police say they streamed on Facebook Live.
Police declined to give the race of the suspects or the victim. In the video, the suspects appear black. The victim appears to be white.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said that the victim was an adult male with “mental health challenges.” The suspects were in custody Wednesday and awaiting formal charges, which could include hate crime charges, Johnson told reporters in a news conference.
“It’s sickening. It makes you wonder what would make individuals treat somebody like that,” Johnson said. “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.”
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According to police, the victim lived in a Chicago suburb and attended school with one of the suspects. Police said the victim met the suspect he knew at some point in the past two days and they drove with others in a stolen van to Chicago.
After viewing a Facebook Live stream depicting “battery of an adult male,” police said they concluded that the victim was the same person in the video. The department said in a statement that it believes the video is “credible.”
Police Commander Kevin Duffin said the department was investigating whether to bring hate crime charges against the suspects, saying it was not yet clear whether the attack was motivated by bias.
“They’re young adults. And they make stupid decisions,” Duffin said. “That certainly will be part of whether or not we seek a hate crime to determine whether this is sincere or just stupid ranting and raving.”
Police are also trying to determine whether the attack constituted a kidnapping. Duffin said the victim was with the suspects for at least 24 hours and maybe as long as 48 hours. When police found him, Duffin said, he was so traumatized that it took most of the night to calm him down to the point that he was able to talk to investigators.
“It’s quite a possibility that it is a kidnapping,” Duffin said. “But he’s traumatized by the incident and it’s very tough to communicate with him at this point.”
The incident comes as violence in Chicago has reached record levels, with the homicide rate hitting a 20-year high in 2016. The issue has caught Trump’s attention. Earlier this week, the president-elect called on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to ask for federal help to respond to the 762 homicides and more than 4,000 gunfire victims last year. The city responded that the mayor and Trump had previously spoken about the issue.
Sorgente: 4 in custody after Facebook video shows group beating disabled man while railing against Trump and whites, Chicago police say – The Washington Post