Police investigate 'hate crime' streamed live on Facebook

Chicago police arrest four 18-year-olds over alleged kidnap, beating and torture of mentally disabled man


Four people have been arrested in connection with the alleged kidnap, beating and torture of a young mentally disabled man in Chicago.

Footage of the incident, which was broadcast on Facebook Live, shows a group of African-American youths physically assaulting a gagged and bound man bound while someone shouts: "F*** Trump. F*** white people."

The 30-minute video also shows the attackers using a knife to cut off the man's clothes and then cutting off part of his scalp and flicking cigarette ash into the wound.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

A second video, which appears to have been filmed earlier, shows the man being told to run around the apartment like a dog and forced him to drink water out of a toilet.

"Officers found the victim wandering the neighbourhood in an obvious state of trauma, and soon authorities drew the connection with the disturbing Facebook video," CBS Chicago reports.

Police superintendent Eddie Johnson described the videos as sickening.

He said: "It makes you wonder what would make individuals treat somebody like that.

"I've been a cop for 28 years and I've seen things that you shouldn't see in a lifetime. But it still amazes me how you still see things that you just shouldn't."

Johnson "did not believe the attack was politically motivated", says CNN, although community activist Andrew Holmes told Fox32 news he viewed the attack as a "hate crime".

The BBC says the victim was "an acquaintance of one of the attackers" and adds he may have been held for up to 48 hours before the assault.

He was reported missing after he "went to visit a friend and ended up in a stolen vehicle, which brought him to the Chicago apartment where the attack occurred", the New York Post reports.

Police say the four suspects – two women and two men, all aged 18 – are expected to be charged shortly.

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.