Chicago police explain why they think beating was hate crime

AP News
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Posted: Jan 05, 2017 4:10 PM
Chicago police explain why they think beating was hate crime

CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on the beating of a white man in Chicago that was broadcast live on Facebook (all times local):

3 p.m.

Chicago police say there was never any doubt the beating of a white man broadcast live on Facebook would be investigated as a hate crime.

They say the four black suspects face hate crime charges because they were shouting racial slurs at the victim and because they referred to his mental capacity.

At a news conference on Thursday afternoon, police also said the victim had been friends with one of the suspects, 18-year-old Jordan Hill of suburban Chicago. They say on New Year's Eve, Hill and the victim met up at a suburban McDonald's to begin what both the victim and his parents believed was going to be a sleepover.

Police say Hill drove the victim around in a stolen van for a couple days. They ended up at a home in Chicago, where police say Hill and the three other suspects taunted the victim and beat him.

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1 p.m.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest says the beating of a mentally disabled man that was broadcast live on Facebook demonstrates "a level of depravity that is an outrage to a lot of Americans."

Earnest says he has not yet spoken to President Barack Obama about the incident in the president's hometown of Chicago but says he's confident Obama "would be angered by the images that are depicted on that video."

Cook County prosecutors have filed hate crime and aggravated kidnapping and battery charges against four black suspects in the incident that police say went on for as many as 48 hours.

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1 p.m.

Prosecutors have filed hate crime and aggravated kidnapping charges against four black suspects accused of beating and taunting a white man during an attack streamed live on Facebook

Cook County prosecutors on Thursday announced charges against three 18-year-olds — Jordan Hill of Carpentersville, Brittany Covington of Chicago and Tesfaye Cooper of Chicago — and 24-year-old Tanishia Covington of Chicago.

Prosecutors say the four are also charged with aggravated unlawful restraint and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Three have also been charged with residential burglary.

The charges stem from an incident that went on for as many as 48 hours. Police have said the victim has "mental health challenges."

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10:30 a.m.

The grandmother of a young woman associated with a live video on Facebook of a beating says her granddaughter "had her ups and downs," but is "a good person."

Priscilla Covington of Chicago says she raised the young woman "since she was a baby." She says her granddaughter no longer lives at the family home but still lives in Chicago.

The grandmother says the video doesn't reflect the young woman she raised.

She says she's worried because her family, including the woman's younger sisters, have been threatened since the video was posted online.

She says she saw and talked to her granddaughter about four days ago, and "she was OK."

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9:20 a.m.

Chicago police say authorities are considering whether an attack on a white man that was broadcast live on Facebook falls under hate crimes statutes.

Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Thursday morning that the four black suspects made "terrible racist statements" during the assault but that police believe the victim was targeted because he has "special needs," not because of his race.

Still, Guglielmi says investigators are looking at whether the assault falls under hate-crime laws.

Guglielmi says charges are expected later Thursday. He says the four suspects are all adults.

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7:45 a.m.

Chicago police say they don't believe a man beaten in an assault broadcast live on Facebook was targeted because he was white.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Thursday morning that charges are expected soon against four black suspects. Guglielmi says the suspects made "terrible racist statements" during the attack, but that investigators believe the victim was targeted because he has special needs, not because of his race.

Guglielmi says it's possible the suspects were trying to extort something from the victim's family.

Video from Chicago media outlets appears to show someone off-camera using profanities about "white people" and President-elect Donald Trump. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Wednesday that the victim has mental health challenges, and he called the video "sickening."

Guglielmi said police are working with prosecutors "to build the strongest case."

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6 a.m.

Chicago police say charges are expected against four people who police say beat a man in an assault that was broadcast live on Facebook.

The victim is a suburban resident who Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says has "mental health challenges."

Johnson called the attack and the video "sickening" at a news conference Wednesday. Johnson questioned why individuals would treat someone so harshly.

Police Cmdr. Kevin Duffin said Wednesday that he anticipated charges within 24 hours.

While police officials did not confirm the races of the suspects or victim, video from Chicago media outlets appeared to show someone off-camera using profanities about "white people" and President-elect Donald Trump.

Police say it's too soon to determine whether the attack was racially motivated.

Police haven't identified the individuals in custody, but say three are Chicago residents and one is from suburban Carpentersville.