CHICAGO, IL — Four Black Chicago teens were being held Wednesday after a shocking Facebook Live video showed what appeared to be the beating and torturing of a bound and gagged white man believed to have special needs while his attackers yelled anti-Trump taunts.
Chicago police said they expect to file charges Thursday against the two men and two women, who are all believed to be 18. Officials say they are investigating the case as a potential kidnapping and possible hate crime, since the assailants in the video can be heard calling the victim “goof-ass white man” and yelling “f*** Donald Trump!” and “f*** white people!”
The 30-minute video, which was originally posted on Facebook Live by Brittany Herring but has since been deleted, shows the four assailants slapping and cutting the young man, whose moans can be heard through his gag as his attackers discuss buying marijuana and putting the victim “out of his misery.”
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson called the video a “brutal act” that was “broadcast for the entire world to see.”
“It’s sickening,” Johnson said at a news conference Wednesday night. “It makes you wonder what would make individuals treat somebody like that. I’ve been a cop for 28 years and seen things that you shouldn’t see in a lifetime, but it still amazes me that you see things that you shouldn’t.”
Police commander Kevin Duffin said that in their hate-crime investigation, they would attempt to determine whether the attackers’ anti-white slurs were “sincere or just stupid ranting and raving.”
The victim attended the same school as one of the attackers, and may have gone willingly with the group, officials said. Investigators believe that he may have been with them for 24 to 48 hours, and during that time his hair was cut until his scalp bled, and he was also forced to drink toilet water.
Police found the victim disoriented while walking through a Chicago neighborhood, and he was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
After authorities were able to talk to the young man about what happened to him — which they say took a long time due to the fact that he was so traumatized — he was released into the care of his parents, who live in the suburb of Crystal Lake.
Main photo: Today screenshot