On January 2, Chicago police on the west side of the city found a young white man apparently disoriented and in distress. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he was found to have been traumatized by being abducted and tortured for as long as two days by four black teenaged adults. The two men and two women are now in custody for repeatedly kicking, punching, as well as slashing the man's head with a knife.

One of the alleged assailants uploaded a livestream video of the incident to Facebook, which gave chilling evidence of the crime. In a press conference on January 4, Chicago police authorities said hate crime and abduction charges were being considered while the investigation goes forward.

As of the morning of January 5, police say that they do not believe that the incident was racist in nature. Instead, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said today that the four black suspects are believed to have targeted the victim because of his "special needs," not his race. However, he recognized that they had made  "terrible racist statements" during the assault. The video records that one of the assailants shouted "F--- white people" and "F--- Donald Trump!" during the torture.

Even so, there is still a possibiltity that the four suspects may be charged with hate crimes. Guglielmi theorized that that the gang was seeking to extort something from the victim's family. It is believed that the victim had been kept in confinement, bound and gagged, for as many as 48 hours. Police are working with prosecutors "to build the strongest case," affirmed Guglielmi. 
The grandmother of one of the two black women associated with the incident said that her granddaughter is a "good person" even though she has ""had her ups and downs." Chicago resident Priscilla Covington raised the young woman since she was an infant. The granddaughter no longer lives at the family home but still lives in Chicago. Covington said that the video is not a reflection on the granddaughter she nurtured. However, she expressed concern that he and the granddaughter's sisters have received threats ever since the video became known. Four days ago, Covington said, her granddaughter "was OK."



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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