Illinois

4 suspects in attack on mentally disabled man due in court

Matt Finn reports from Chicago

 

Four people accused of tying up and torturing a mentally disabled man and then live streaming the beating on Facebook are scheduled to appear in court on Friday.

The two men and two women accused in the brutal beating are facing hate crime, kidnapping and battery charges.

Eighteen-year-olds Brittany Covington, Tesfaye Cooper and Jordan Hill, and 24-year-old Tanishia Covington allededly shouted racial slurs and anti-Trump statements at the disabled man.

President Barack Obama called the attack that was streamed on Facebook Live “despicable” on Thursday.

“In part because we see visuals of racial tensions, violence and so forth because of smart phones and the Internet,” Obama said.

The video was captured on a cellphone and was viewed on social media by millions of people.

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson also commented on the video, calling it "sickening."

Authorities say the hate crime charges resulted from both the suspects' use of racial slurs and their references to the victim's disability.

The recent beating has intensified the glare on Chicago after a violent year against Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the police department.

"If Mayor can't do it he must ask for Federal help!” Trump tweeted at the beginning of the month.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.