More details are emerging about the disturbing Facebook Live video that led to the arrest of 3 Black teens and 1 adult in connection with the kidnapping of a white student in the Chicago area.
Hate crime, kidnapping, battery, and unlawful restraint charges were filed against 18-year-olds Jordan Hill, Tesfaye Cooper and Brittany Covington, as well as 24-year-old Tanishia Covington, on Thursday afternoon in connection with the incident. Officials also confirmed on Friday that all four of the suspects have given statements to police and admitted their roles in the incident, according to The Chicago Tribune. Additional details regarding the events that took place prior to what was seen taking place in the Facebook Live video have also been revealed.
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According to reports, the victim’s family had last seen him after they dropped him off to meet up with Hill — a former classmate– on Saturday. They later reported him missing on Monday when he did not return home. A few hours into the visit, Hill and the victim reportedly engaged in a play fight that went too far and resulted in the two Covington sisters tying Hill up out of anger.
Police believe the video footage begins shortly after Hill is bound by the sisters. The group is later seen cutting Hill’s scalp and shirt with a knife and forcing him to drink toilet water while yelling obscenities about white people and Donald Trump in the video.
Speaking with CBS News affiliate WBBM-TV Chicago, President Obama described the incident as “despicable.”
“What we have seen as surfacing, I think, are a lot of problems that have been there a long time,” Obama said during a prearranged interview in Washington. “Whether it’s tensions between police and communities, (or) hate crimes of the despicable sort that has just now recently surfaced on Facebook.”
Despite the troubling nature of the incident, the President also said he remains optimistic about the future of race relations in America.
“The good news is that the next generation that’s coming behind us…have smarter, better, more thoughtful attitudes about race,” he added. “I think the overall trajectory of race relations in this country is actually very positive. It doesn’t mean that all racial problems have gone away. It means that we have the capacity to get better.”
A bond hearing for the suspects involved in the attack has been scheduled for Friday at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago.