4 charged with hate crime, kidnapping, etc., in connection with beating broadcast on Facebook

UPDATE: 2:30 p.m. – The four suspects who kidnapped, beat and tortured a man with special needs in Chicago have been formally charged and are expected to appear in court Friday. Jordan Hill, Tesfaye Cooper and Brittany Covington, each 18; and Tanishia Covington, 24, have each been charged with a hate crime, felony aggravated kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint and aggravated battery.

The three 18-year-olds also face charges of residential burglary and Hill faces an additional charge of possession of a stolen vehicle.

ORIGINAL STORY: Four 18-year-olds – two males and two females – are being held in connection with a possible kidnapping and subsequent torture and beating of a bound mentally-challenged man in Chicago that was broadcast live on Facebook.

In a press conference Wednesday, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson called the video a “brutal act broadcast for the entire world to see.”

According to police, the video aired Tuesday when one of the suspects placed it as a live video on her Facebook page.

Executive Officer Capt. Steven Sesso said the incident was discovered when alert officers from the 11th District encountered an individual in distress. They took him to the hospital for evaluation. Around the same time, the four suspects were taken into custody in the same area.

It was discovered that the man in distress had been reported as an endangered missing person from a Chicago suburb.

Commander Kevin Duffin said in the press conference that the man was treated and released from the hospital. Meanwhile, an investigation had been launched and officers discovered the two incidents were related.

Duffin said the Cook County State Attorney’s Office was investigating the case and charges against the four are expected Thursday. Additionally, Duffin said the victim and one of the suspects were acquainted and police are investigating if the victim had been kidnapped before the torture and beating. The case is also being investigated as a hate crime, Duffin said, as the victim was white and the suspects are black.