Chicago Police arrested four people accused of tormenting a special needs man in a video posted on social media. In the video at least one of the assailants says “f— white people” and tells the victim to say “f— Donald Trump.”
Many on Twitter used the attack Tuesday to criticize the Black Lives Matter movement, and the hashtag #BLMkidnapping trended on Twitter Wednesday night. But an officer with Chicago police media relations told TheWrap he was not aware of any connection between the suspects and Black Lives Matter, and said police had not indicated the suspects were in any way connected to the movement.
“That wouldn’t be a thing that would come from us,” Officer Michael Carroll said. He added that no one else had inquired about whether the attack had anything to do with Black Lives Matter.
In the video, the assailants are shown yelling at the bound and gagged man, and cutting his shirt open.
Two women and two men were arrested, but no charges had been filed as of Wednesday night, Carroll said. No names were released, but Police Commander Kevin Duffin said in a news conference that the suspects were 18 years old.
He said their ages would be a factor in determining whether they would be charged with a hate crime.
“Although they are adults, they’re 18. Kids make stupid decisions,” Duffin said. “I shouldn’t call them kids. They’re legally adults, but they’re young adults and they make stupid decisions. That certainly will be part of whether or not we seek a hate crime [charge].”
Police said the victim, from a Chicago suburb, knew at least one of his assailants from school, and may have gone with him voluntarily to the location where he was tortured. Police located the suspects after finding the victim, who was badly distressed after the attack, they said.
You can watch the police news conference below:
CPD press conference regarding disturbing live social media video depicting a battery ; victim was tied up https://t.co/jDrjfz4sJV
— Chicago Police (@Chicago_Police) January 5, 2017