WASHINGTON, January 4, 2017 – Chicago law enforcement have arrested four individuals involved in the gruesome beating and torture of a white man. One of the two women attackers broadcast and narrated portions of the lengthy and horrifying attack on Facebook live.
Here is a video report from Chicago’s ABC 4 Eyewitness News describing where and how the attack occurred:
During the ordeal, the victim was tied up at times with his mouth taped shut. He was also beaten and made to drink toilet water. His attackers relentlessly hurled racial slurs at him and accused him of voting for Donald Trump as they assaulted him and, at some point, cut his forehead with a knife. Chicago police believe the man had been missing for 48 hours. He was severely traumatized when they found him.
The victim was described as having “mental health challenges.”
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson announced that four individuals are now in custody for the crime. No charges have yet been filed, although it is anticipated that this will happen soon.
Police Commander Kevin Duffin confirmed that the victim actually knew one of his attackers and went to school with him, noting that the police may file kidnapping charges in the case. The highly graphic Facebook videos, laced with expletives and racial slurs, strongly suggest the alleged perpetrators of the crime were racially and politically motivated. The police, have initially been reluctant to characterize this incident as a hate crime.
According to sources, Duffin seemed to regard this violent attack as something akin to youthful tomfoolery:
“Although they are adults, they’re 18. Kids make stupid decisions. I shouldn’t call them kids, they’re legally adults, but they’re young adults and they make stupid decisions. That certainly will be part of whether or not… we see a hate crime, to determine whether or not this is sincere or just stupid ranting and raving.”
The full video, which gained a substantial audience after it was posted on YouTube, lasts 30 minutes. During the live Facebook stream, the female speaker actually responded to real-time comments sent in by viewers as they watched the live, in-progress attack.
Since that time, Facebook has taken the video down because it violates the social media giant’s community standards, but portions of the video have been resurrected and posted elsewhere. As of this writing, these excerpts can still be easily accessed. The video, or portions of it, quickly spread on social media, and #BLMKidnapping was trending on Twitter by Wednesday night.
Here is a portion of the video. Warning: Strong, disturbing material.
— James J. Vinson (NT) (@JamesJVinson) January 5, 2017
Other excerpts can be found here and elsewhere, and they are equally upsetting.
This is not the first time a Facebook Live video has made the news in Chicago. Previously, two men were shot while streaming live video on Facebook. One was killed and the other was seriously wounded.