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Obama: Chicago Video Shows 'Terrible Toll' of Racism

  • VOA News

A combination photo shows four people charged with felonies for the beating of a man with mental health issues.

A combination photo shows four people charged with felonies for the beating of a man with mental health issues.

U.S. President Barack Obama says the video that has surfaced of four black suspects in Chicago torturing a mentally disabled white teen "allows us to see . . . the terrible toll that racism, discrimination and hate takes on families and communities."

The suspects have been charged with hate crimes after they allegedly livestreamed video on Facebook for nearly a half hour of themselves inflicting suffering on the young man.

"We don't benefit from pretending that racism doesn't exist and hate doesn't exist. We don't benefit from not talking about it," the president said. "The fact that these things are surfacing means we can solve them."

Prosecutors in Cook County, Illinois, announced hate crime and aggravated kidnapping charges Thursday afternoon against Jordan Hill, Brittany Covington and Tesfaye Cooper, all 18, and Tanishia Covington, 24.

Video of the incident shows four black attackers repeatedly stabbing and punching an unidentified white man who had been tied up and had duct tape placed over his mouth.

The video also shows the attackers forcing the mentally disabled man to drink water out of a toilet and roughly cutting some hair off his scalp before putting ash from a cigar on the bleeding wound.

Throughout the video, the attackers can be heard yelling profane comments about white people and President-elect Donald Trump. At one point, the attackers also forced the victim to say a profane comment against Trump.

According to police, the victim was held captive for between 24 and 48 hours before he was spotted by patrol officers wandering down a street near the scene of the attack.

Once spotted by police, the victim was taken to the hospital and identified as a person who had been earlier reported missing from a nearby suburb.

The victim was a classmate of one of his attackers, and apparently went with them willingly at first, police said.

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