Hate Crime Charges Filed in Torture, Kidnapping of White Man in Chicago
Hate crime and kidnapping charges have been filed against four African-Americans who abducted and tortured an 18-year-old white man with special needs in Chicago.
Chicago police charged three 18-year-olds — Jordan Hill, Tesfaye Cooper and Brittany Covington — with aggravated kidnapping, hate crime, aggravated unlawful restraint and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, according to NBC Chicago. Tanishia Covington, 24, faces similar charges.
The four were arrested on Wednesday after a video from Facebook Live surfaced of the suspects shouting “fuck white people” and “fuck Donald Trump” as they tortured 18-year-old Austin Hilbourn.
Hilbourn, who lives in a Chicago suburb and has been described as having “mental health challenges,” was shown bound and gagged as the suspects beat him, cut him with a knife and forced him to drink water from a toilet.
Hilbourn disappeared on Dec. 31 after his parents dropped him off at a McDonald’s. One of the suspects later called Hilsbourn’s parents to say that they had his son in captivity. The kidnappers released Hilbourn who was found by police in a state of shock. Investigators believe that he was held captive for at least 24 hours. They also believe that one of the suspects knew Hilbourn from school.
Police on Wednesday declined to characterize the brutal torture as a hate crime. Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson also declined to speculate whether the attackers, despite yelling anti-Donald Trump rhetoric, were politically motivated.
The suspects are expected to appear in court on Friday, NBC Chicago reported.