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05th Jan 2017

Chicago police launch investigation after 18-year old with special needs tortured in Facebook live video

The investigating officer described it as "sickening".

Conor Heneghan

Four people have been arrested in relation to the attack.

Two male and two female teenagers, all 18 years old, have been arrested after a brutal attack on an 18-year old man with special needs that was broadcast on Facebook live.

According to CNN, the video, which has since been pulled from one of the suspect’s Facebook page, showed the suspects punching, kicking and cutting the forehead of the victim with a knife while he was bound and gagged and cowered in a corner.

They also dropped cigarette ash on the victim and made derogatory statements about Donald Trump and white people.

The victim has been described by police in Chicago as an 18-year old with special needs and was found wandering the streets and disorientated on Tuesday afternoon by police officers, who subsequently brought him to hospital.

It has since emerged that he had been missing for anything between 24 and 48 hours before he was found by police and was so traumatised by what he had gone through that it took him most of the night before he could calm down and talk to the police about what had happened.

The four suspects are currently in custody awaiting charges.

Commenting on the attack at a news conference, Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson said: “It’s sickening. It makes you wonder what would make individuals treat somebody like that.”

“I’ve been a cop for 28 years, and I’ve seen things that you shouldn’t see in a lifetime, but it still amazes me how you still see things that you just shouldn’t,” he added.

As all four suspects are black and the victim is white, an investigation into whether the attack constitutes a hate crime will also take place.

Police Commander Kevin Duffin said: “They’re young adults, and they make stupid decisions,” adding that an investigation would be launched to “determine whether or not this is sincere or just stupid ranting and raving”.

Facebook have confirmed the removal of the video from the suspect’s Facebook page, saying: “We do not allow people to celebrate or glorify crimes on Facebook and have removed the original video for this reason.

“In many instances, though, when people share this type of content, they are doing so to condemn violence or raise awareness about it. In that case, the video would be allowed.”

Main image via Twitter/Chicago Police