Has recent hate crime instituted a new Americanized “normal”? On Wednesday, January 4, 2017, four African American young adults brought in the new year by kidnapping and torturing an 18-year-old, mentally ill white male in Chicago, and broadcasting the gruesome act via Facebook Live.
The 30 minute long video of the attack has since been published on YouTube and many other websites; however, Facebook has reportedly removed the video from the profile on which it aired. During the gruesome assault, the four suspects can be heard to call out, “F— Trump,” as well as “F— white people!” Despite those remarks, law enforcement officers are reluctant to call the event either politically motivated or a ‘hate crime’ due to the reversed racial positions.
Actions shown within the video include attackers cutting the victim, beating him, and making him drink from a dirty toilet. Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson publically said, “It’s sickening, it makes you wonder what would make individuals treat somebody like that.”
Police stated that the victim may have known one of the attackers from school, which caused the department to briefly reconsider the kidnapping charges, until speaking further with the victim’s parents. According to his parents, their last encounter with their son was when they dropped him off at a McDonald’s in Schaumburg, a Chicago suburb on Saturday, December 31, 2016. Their son had plans to spend New Year’s Eve with Hill, one of his attackers, and was out of contact with his parents after that day. On Monday, January 2, the victim’s parents decided to report their son as a missing person.
Hill had apparently picked up the victim in a stolen van and driven him around for several days before going to the
Covington’s apartment in Chicago. The victim had been tied up for four or five hours, according to Cmdr. Kevin Duffin of the Chicago Police Department. Offenders Jordan Hill, 18; Tesfaye Cooper; 18; Brittany Covington, 18; and Tanishia Covington, 24, have each been charged with a hate crime, felony, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
The disappointing reality about this brutal offense is the casual attitude behind it. The reaction to the horrific event has not been shock, rather acceptance. People have been able to recognize that the actions made were inhumane and cruel, but law enforcement officers, as well as a majority of citizens seem to be content with the kidnapping and torturing of a fellow human being, as if it is a natural part of our culture. The victim’s brother-in-law released a brief statement Thursday, January 5 in which he said, “We’re so grateful for all the prayers and efforts that led to the safe return of our brother. 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.”
The victim has since been returned home to recover from his emotional and physical injuries in the presence of his loved ones.
By Sequoia Green