Chicago, Il – A judge has recently dropped hate crimes charges against four black teenagers who kidnapped and tortured a white boy who is mentally ill. The incident occurred this January and caused national uproar when the Facebook Live video of about a half hour of the attack was made public and quickly went viral.
The victim, an 18 year old white man with mental health problems was kidnapped by his attackers just outside of Chicago in early January of this year. He was then taken to the apartment of the sister of one of the attackers after being held in a stolen van for more than a day. At the apartment authorities say the victim was bound, gagged, and physically tortured. The disturbing video of the attack shows the victim forced to drink from a toilet, and be beat by all of the attackers while wallowing in extreme pain.
Police quickly arrested the attackers and charged them with hate crimes, but as of this week a judge in Chicago has dropped the hate crimes charges and held only the charges of kidnapping and ransom, since they had demanded $300 from the victim’s mother during the attack.
The dropping of the hate crime charges once again brings up discussion over the legitimacy of the charges in these situations. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has said that if the roles were reversed, and the victim was a black man the hate crimes charges would have been upheld. In addition, the attackers screamed anti-white, and anti-Trump messages during the attack.
Edit: Information for this article has been obtained through the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, which no longer lists the four attackers as charged with hate crimes. The charges of kidnapping and ransom have not been dropped.