Outspoken TV personality Montel Williams blasted the four people who have been charged with a hate crime in Chicago accused of torturing a special needs man and streaming it on Facebook Live, calling for “Life in prison. No parole.”
“I’m not interested in whether these kids had a tough life, whether their parents loved them enough, I don’t care,” Williams wrote in a Facebook message. “Whether this is a hate crime is a distraction and irrelevant – THIS IS THE COLD BLOODED TORTURE OF AN INNOCENT HUMAN BEING. That’s bigger than a hate crime, it’s bigger than racism (saying F— white people is racist by definition), its bigger than politics.”
Williams continued: “Life in prison. No parole. If you can do this to another human being once, you can’t be trusted to not do it again.”
The individuals who took the video — 18-year-olds Jordan Hill, Tesfaye Cooper and Brittany Covington, as well as 24-year-old Tanishia Covington — have been charged with felony crimes, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.
“We have the statements of the four of them,” Chicago Area North Detectives Commander Kevin Duffin said at a news conference on Thursday. “They admit that they were beating him, kicking him, they made him drink toilet water, and then obviously the video where they’re cutting a piece of his scalp.”
In the video, the assailants, who are black, are shown yelling at the bound and gagged man, who appears to be white. At least one of the assailants can be heard saying “f— white people” and tells the victim to say “f— Donald Trump.”
According to police, the 18-year-old victim was tied up and tormented for as long as five hours. He is now at home with his parents and expected to fully recover. Both the victim’s race and mental health factored into the decision to file hate crime charges against the four alleged assailants.
Williams ended his message by writing, “My prayers go out to the young man in this disgusting video.”