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Four Suspects in Torture Video Denied Bail

Hate crime charges in Facebook Live attack
From left to right: Brittany Covington, 18; Tesfaye Cooper, 18; Tanisha Covington, 24; Jordan Hill, 18.

The four suspects in the kidnapping and torture of a special needs teenager in Chicago are to be held without bail on multiple charges.

Jordan Hill, 18; Tesfaye Cooper, 18; Brittany Covington, 18; and Tanisha Covington, 24, were charged with a hate crime, felony aggravated kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon after being taken into custody on Thursday.

Just one day later, the suspects had a hearing in Cook County courtroom, where they were denied bail by Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil.

The victim’s parents reported him missing on Monday after not hearing from him since Saturday, when they dropped him off at a McDonald’s 20 miles from their home. The victim was supposed to be spending New Years eve with Jordan Hill, an acquaintance from school.

Hill picked the victim up in a stolen van, where they spent several days driving around before arriving at Tanisha and Brittany Covington’s Chicago apartment. The victim was tied up for four or five hours, and the abuse was broadcast live on one of the suspect’s Facebook accounts.

The victim was forced to drink toilet water while being punched in the back of the head. The assailants were heard shouting “F-ck Donald Trump!” and “F-ck white people!” as they beat the victim repeatedly and slashed his scalp with a knife while he was bound and gagged in the corner of the apartment.

A resident living in a nearby apartment complained about the noise. The Covington sisters responded by kicking the door down to the apartment, and the resident called 911. The police found the victim on the street with an inside out tank top, bloodied.

The racial components of the crime have sparked debates about Black Lives Matter and their influence and involvement in the attack. Conservatives have blamed the anti-white and anti-Trump rhetoric on the movement, while proponents for the cause deny the involvement. Dimitri Roberts, a retired Chicago Police officer responded to the allegations.

“This is hate. And hate doesn’t have a color,” Roberts said. “So for folks to talk about this is somehow connected to Black Lives Matter is absolutely the wrong way to look at this.”

The victim is safe at home and was treated for his minor wounds.

[Via Chicago Tribune]


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