Four young African-Americans have been charged with hate crimes and other felonies on Thursday in connection with the apparent torture and taunting of a white special needs student in a video that was posted live on Facebook.
The Cook County prosecutors office charged Tesfaye Cooper, 18, Brittany Covington, 18, and Tanishia Covington, 24, all of Chicago, and Jordan Hill, 18, of Carpentersville, Ill., with aggravated kidnapping, hate crime, aggravated unlawful restraint, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and residential burglary.
According to USA Today, Police say it is too soon to make a determination whether the attack was racially motivated but many have gone to social media to provide evidence.
Alleged screenshots of Brittany Covington’s Facebook account (Brittany Herring), which broadcast the torture live, show she posted a picture of Sierra Mcgrone desecrating the US flag before the attack.
The screenshots spread quickly through Twitter under the hashtag #BLMKidnapping. BLM is a reference to the controversial social justice group Black Lives Matter.
Sierra Mcgrone was exposed in July of last year, by Popular Military, as the person behind the “Shit on the Flag Challenge.”
Under the alias Nocturnus Libertus on Facebook, she proposed in a video, “with only $6, you too can help a young Afrikan clean their ass with the rag of oppression!” It was later discovered that Mcgrone was a military dependent of her mother who served as a Sergeant First Class in the Army.
Mcgrone responded to the photo of her shared by Convington by saying, “Let’s get one thing clear. I’m in no way connected to Brittany Herring—yet! But y’all ASKED FOR THIS. You’ve declared war on humanity for the last time.”
“I’m PROUD of her! She FOUGHT BACK! Too bad fam wasn’t there to protect her from the pigs,” she wrote. “YOU asked for this when you sent your WHYTE police into Black, Brown, Red and Yellow neighborhoods to kill us off. YOU asked for this when you elected Donny Drumpf.”
Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told the Associated Press that police don’t believe the victim was targeted because he was white despite the racist profanities made by the accused assailants about white people and Trump.
It is not known if the police investigation had considered the social media evidence when the statement was made.
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