On Monday, January 2nd, the parents of a young special needs man reported him missing after he was to spend New Year’s Eve with an acquaintance from school. They reported last seeing him on Saturday, New Year’s Eve, after dropping him off at a McDonald’s to wait for his friend.
As discovered later, the young man’s ‘friend,’ Jordan Hill, reportedly picked him up in a stolen van and left on Saturday evening, before ending up at the Covington girl’s apartment. It was there, that the young man would be tortured live for an excruciating thirty minutes.
The victim appeared to have been tied up for 4-5 hours, says Cmdr. Kevin Duffin of the Chicago Police Department. During that time, Jordan Hill, Tesfaye Cooper, Brittany and Tanishia Covington broadcast a Facebook live torture session where the victim was forced to drink from a toilet, had a knife run across his scalp (shaving flesh off), and was repeatedly beaten. (Link to the video)
Hearing the commotion from within the apartment building, one neighbor reportedly threatened to call the police, causing the Covington girls to run downstairs to confront him, and leaving the victim a chance to escape. Police found the victim wandering the streets of Chicago West Side in shorts and flip-flops before taking him to reunite with his family
All three teens and one adult have been arrested and have been charged with hate crimes, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint, and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Hill was additionally charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle.
Despite repeated racial slurs used in the video, including repeated use of “F*** Donald Trump!” “F*** white people! “F*** white people!” the police have decided not to charge them with a racially motivated hate crime. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi stated that he was likely singled out because of his “special needs” and not for his race. The suspects will be charged with hate crime under that pretense.
Supt. Eddie Johnson commented, “Let me be very clear, the actions in that video are reprehensible. That, along with racism, have absolutely no place in the city of Chicago or anywhere else for that matter.”
Twitter began trending with #BLMKidnapping soon after the story’s release. Police and the local Black Lives Matter chapter insist that they are not associated with any one of the suspects. However, higher up members in the BLM organization have refused to publicly advocate justice for the victim.
Edit: Additional details added to the events that happened before the torture. Corrected to say that police would not treat this case as a racially motivated incident.