UPDATE: Chicago Youth Charged With Hate Crime for Allegedly Assaulting Teen With Intellectual Disability

By Kenrya Rankin Jan 05, 2017

Update, January 5, 3:34 p.m. ET:

The Associated Press reports that prosecutors for Cook County identified the suspects as Tesfaye Cooper (18), Brittany Covington (18), Jordan Hill (18) and Tanishia Covington (24). Four of them have been charged with hate crimes, kidnapping, aggravated battery and aggravated unlawful restraint. Three were also charged with burglary.


This week (January 3), 18-year-old Brittany Herring (also identified online as Brittany Covington) posted a Facebook Live video that showed her and three other young people who appear to be Black allegedly physically assaulting a seemingly White person with an intellectual disability. In the video, someone is heard saying, “Fuck Donald Trump, nigga, fuck White people, boy.” Watch it here, courtesy of Heavy.

Per a Chicago Police Department Twitter post, the unidentified 18-year-old victim was transported to a hospital after Chicago Police Department officers saw him walking down the street looking “disoriented” on January 3. They later linked him to both Herring’s video and a call for police support at a nearby home.

Police have not verified the races of the victim or the four people who were arrested, and did not immediately connect the alleged attack to race, saying that it might have been motived by his disability rather than his Whiteness.

“They’re young adults. And they make stupid decisions,” Area North Commander Kevin Duffin said at a press conference covered by the Chicago Tribune. “That certainly will be part of whether or not we seek a hate crime to determine whether this is sincere or just stupid ranting and raving.” Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told press that prosecutors are considering hate crime charges.


The Tribune reports that the victim’s parents reported him missing on Monday (January 2), and that they received text messages from someone who was holding their son captive. He has been released from the hospital and charges are expected soon.

The hashtag #BLMKidnapping began trending last night, as some sought to tie the four alleged attackers to the Black Lives Matter movement. This, despite the fact that they never mentioned the movement or any affiliation with it during the filmed encounter. Many took to Twitter to point out the disconnect.