On January 3rd, 2017 Four suspects have been charged for hate crimes in connection with the kidnapping and torture of a special needs kid that was streamed on Facebook Live. Suspects Jordan Hill, Tesfaye Cooper, Brittany Covington, and Tanishia Covington have all been charged with a hate crime, felony kidnapping, unlawful restraint, and assault and battery with a deadly weapon. Aside from that, Hill, Cooper, and Brittany Covington have also faced charges of residential burglary and illegal possession of a motor vehicle.
The video of the attack streamed live on Facebook showed the 18-year-old victim cowering in a corner of a room, tied up with his mouth wrapped in plastic. At one point, one of the attackers slashed the victim’s sweatshirt with a knife, the attacker then took a knife to the victim’s head, carving a patch off his scalp. The teen was tied up for 5 hours before the Chicago Police Department rescued him.
The victim’s brother in law, David Boyd, spoke with CNN reporters the Thursday night saying, “We’re so grateful for all the prayers and efforts that led to the safe return of our brother.” Continuing with,“We’re fully aware of the charges being brought against the offenders. At this time, we ask for…our family’s privacy as we cope and heal.” Boyd continue on to tell CNN that the teen is on a full recovery and doing well. Later telling the media that everyone in the family has seen the video, but he didn’t comment further on it.
According to Facebook guidelines, if a live stream starts blowing up, the Facebook staff monitor it for possible violations and interrupt it if needed. The Facebook Spokesman commented on the issue by saying, “We do not allow people to celebrate or glorify crimes on Facebook and have removed the original video for this reason..” The suspects listed above will be subject to a trial.