Friday, 6 January 2017

[US]Judge denies bail for Facebook Live attack suspects: 'Where was your sense of decency?'

A judge in a Chicago court denied bail to four accused charged in connection with the kidnap and torture of a mentally disabled teenager that was streamed live on Facebook. The attack was said to be a "racially motivated" one.
"Where was your sense of decency?" Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil asked the accused while denying their attorneys' pleas to get them released from jail.
Jordan Hill, Tesfaye Cooper, Brittany Covington, all 18, and 24-year-old Tanishia Covington were detained over the attack. They appeared in a Chicago court on Friday (6 January). The four accused have been charged on several counts including for hate crimes, felony, aggravated kidnapping and battery, and unlawful restraint.
They reportedly attended the same school as the 18-year old white victim, who was forced by the four accused to drink from a toilet bowl while beating, stripping, taunting and threatening him with a knife. The attack was reported to have taken place earlier this week.
Prosecutors told the court the victim was schizophrenic and also suffered from attention deficit disorder. The ordeal started in a van and continued at a house, they said.
The disturbing video made for Facebook Live, which has been viewed millions of times by several people across the country, has been removed, the Chicago Tribune reported. The attackers were heard making derogatory statements in the video against white people and US President-elect Donald Trump, apparently to justify their actions.
Hill is also accused of stealing the van and demanding $300 (£244) from the victim's mother when he was still held captive.
Each of the suspects faces two hate crime counts — one for torturing a person who is disabled and the other for the victim's race, prosecutors said.
The court was informed that the assailants stuffed a sock into the victim's mouth and taped it to prevent him from calling for help. His hands were also bound with a belt, BBC reported.
Prosecutors said the victim's mother dropped him off at a McDonalds to meet Hill, who was one of his friends, on 31 December. It is reported that the teenager was asked to stay over on New Year's Eve and the next day but when the victim's family did not hear from him later, they filed a missing person report on 2 January. Police said an officer found him after the attacks a day later, on 3 January.


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