Police: Charges coming in Chicago beating aired on Facebook
CHICAGO, Illinois (AP):
Chicago police do not believe a man beaten in an assault broadcast live on Facebook was targeted because he was white, despite profanities made by the accused assailants about white people and President-elect Donald Trump, a police spokesman said yesterday.
Charges are expected later in the day against four black suspects, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.
Guglielmi acknowledged that the suspects made "terrible racist statements" during the assault, but that investigators believe the victim was targeted because he has "special needs", not because of his race. Still, Guglielmi said authorities are looking at whether the attack falls under hate-crimes statutes.
Guglielmi said it is possible the suspects were trying to extort something from the victim's family. Investigators said the victim was with his attackers, including one who was a classmate, for up to 48 hours, and the attack left him traumatised.
Excerpts of the video posted by Chicago media outlets show the victim with his mouth taped shut, slumped in a corner as at least two assailants cut off his sweatshirt with a knife, while others taunt him off-camera. The video shows a wound on the top of the man's head, and one person pushing the man's head with his or her foot. A red band also appears to be around the victim's hands.
The investigation began Monday after officers found a man who "was in distress and was in crisis" walking on a street on the city's West Side. The man was taken to a hospital and it was later discovered that he had been reported missing from an unidentified suburb.