The black teens presumed to be in the viral video showing the torture of a white teen with special needs have been arrested.
Four suspects, two men and two women -- all 18 year olds from Chicago, have been arrested for the beating and torture of a man that was broadcasted via Facebook Live. The disturbing viral footage, which lasts about 30 minutes, shows a young man crouched in a corner, wailing in pain, while being attacked and taunted. One assailant takes a knife and slices into the victim's scalp. Chicago Police have reported that the victim is an 18-year-old with special needs.
The victim reportedly got in a van with the attackers and they might have held him hostage for "at least 24 hours," reports CNN. Police are still considering kidnapping charges, even though he might have gotten into the van voluntarily. The victim was familiar with at least one of the attackers from school, said Commander Kevin Duffin.
Due to his trauma, it reportedly took the young man most of the night to calm down to a state where he was able to talk to police.
During the video, the attackers can be heard uttering anti-white as well as anti-Trump invective, such as "f*ck white people" and "f*ck Donald Trump." Seeing that they are black and the victim is white, police are investigating whether the incident constitutes a potential hate crime. Thus far, no racial or political motives on behalf of the perpetrators have been established.
Though they do seem to have used racially-charged language, it is possible that the suspects were simply "ranting about something they think might make a headline," says Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. Due to their age, they will be charged as adults.
"It's sickening," said Johnson, who does not believe the crime to be politically motivated. "It makes you wonder what would make individuals treat somebody like that."
The victim's parents reported him missing on Monday, and after doing so, they reportedly received text messages from someone "claiming to be holding him captive." Police found the victim wandering a Chicago street on Tuesday afternoon. They say he was visibly "in crisis."
Facebook took down the graphic video and issued the following statement:
"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."