People who record their incriminating actions on video often provide law enforcement officials with a head start towards prosecution. That’s exactly what’s happened in Chicago, where four people are now under arrest for kidnapping and battery. The incident involved a nearly half-hour long torture session on a man that the four broadcast on Facebook Live.
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The arrest happened swiftly. The video shows a man bound and gagged in the corner of a room. His attackers repeatedly punch and kick him. They force him to say things like “f*ck Donald Trump” and “f*ck white people.” They even cut his forehead with a knife.
The man, who police are describing as a person with special needs, was found disoriented, wandering aimlessly. He was taken to a hospital. After, the video of the attack began to circulate. It had been aired in real time on Facebook Live, and then went viral.
When officers viewed the video, they knew they’d found the man in the video. They then responded to a separate battery incident and arrested four individuals that they later connected to the Facebook Live incident.
Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson said the suspects, all of whom are 18, are in custody.
“It’s sickening,” he said. “It makes you wonder what would make individuals treat somebody like that.”
Authorities believe the man in the video knew one of his attackers from school, and had willingly gotten into a van and driven to the location where he was bound and beaten.
The nature of the crime has led authorities to investigate this as a possible hate crime. Once that determination has been made, charges against the four will be finalized.
Johnson tried to dispel the nature of the hatred, suggesting that the racial hatred evinced in the video might be something meant to “make headlines.” And he doesn’t feel like the attack was politically motivated.
“If you commit an act of violence in the city of Chicago you will experience the full weight of the Chicago Police Department,” he said. “Tonight four individuals have felt the consequences of their actions.”
The video has been removed from Facebook, but it is unclear who removed it. As the content is a clear violation of Facebook’s community standards, it was likely removed by the company.
The video is being pulled off of various YouTube channels, also, with this admonition. But it can still be found.