4 Suspects Charged After Graphic Facebook Live Video Shows Disabled Teen's Attack
This story has been updated to reflect the sentences for three of the four defendants.
Four suspects in Chicago have been charged after a Facebook Live video streamed a graphic attack of a teen with cognitive disabilities, CNN reported.
The teen was tied up for four to five hours, according to Cmdr. Kevin Duffin of the Chicago Police Department, but is now back home recovering with his family. 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.
Duffin says his department sought hate crime charges because of the young man’s “mental capacity”and due to the racial epithets heard on tape. At one point in the clip, a suspect can be heard saying, “F*ck Donald Trump! F*ck white people!”
For more on this story, head to CNN.
Statistically, people with disabilities are more likely to be violently victimized than people without disabilities. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2014, “the rate of violent victimization against persons with disabilities (31.7 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older) was 2.5 times higher than the age-adjusted rate for persons without disabilities (12.5 per 1,000).” To add, “serious violent crime (rape or sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault) accounted for a greater percentage of violence against persons with disabilities (41%) than violence against persons without disabilities (31%).”
In Illinois, a “hate crime” is not necessarily characterized as a crime driven by hate. As Eugene Volokh explains in The Washington Post, “if a thief selects a physically disabled victim simply because he thinks it’s less likely that the victim will fight back, that too is covered as a hate crime under Illinois law.”
Read Volokh’s breakdown of what qualifies as a hate crime here.
On July 5, 2018, Hill pleaded guilty to counts of aggravated kidnapping and a hate crime, both of which are felonies. Hill was sentenced to eight years in prison. Brittany and Tanishia pleaded guilty in 2017. Brittany was sentenced to four years of probation, and Tanishia was sentenced to three years in prison.