Chicago police were questioning four African-Americans Wednesday evening over a Facebook Live video that showed a mentally disabled white man being tied up and tortured while someone yelled “F— white people!” and “F— Donald Trump!”
The video was shot by a young African-American woman who posted it on her Facebook account, Fox 32 Chicago reported. Investigators said they were made aware of the footage Tuesday afternoon.
Police Supt. Eddie Johnson told reporters that two males and two females, including the woman who shot the video, were in custody. Fox 32 Chicago reported that formal charges were expected to be filed Thursday.
Police said the unidentified 18-year-old victim lives in Crystal Lake, a northwestern suburb of Chicago. Investigators believe he met some acquaintances in Streamwood, a neighboring suburb. The group then drove him to Chicago in a stolen vehicle, Fox 32 Chicago reported.
Authorities say the victim, believed to be in his late teens or early 20s, was kept tied up with his mouth taped shut in an apartment on the city’s west side. The video shows the victim being repeatedly kicked and hit, while his scalp was cut.
At one point in the video, the victim was held at knife point and told to curse President-elect Donald Trump. The group also forced the victim to drink water from a toilet.
The suspects can also be heard saying they want the video to go viral.
“It makes you wonder what would make individuals treat somebody like that,” Johnson said during a news conference. “I’ve been a cop for 28 years and I’ve seen things that you shouldn’t see. It still amazes me how you still see things that you just shouldn’t.”
“I’m not going to say it shocked me but it was sickening.”
Police officers spotted the victim walking on the street while wearing shorts on Tuesday afternoon. When the officers stopped to talk to the man, they said he appeared to be disoriented. The victim was taken to a hospital and was given toxicology tests to determine whether he was under the influence of any substance.
Investigators said late Wednesday that the victim was a classmate of one of the suspects, and added that he was held in the apartment for at least 24 hours, possibly as long as 48 hours. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the victim had been reported missing to local police in Streamwood.
Johnson said authorities currently don’t believe the crime was politically motivated, despite the disparaging remarks about Trump.
“I think some of it is just stupidity, people just ranting about something that they think might make a headline,” Johnson said. “I don’t think that at this point we have anything concrete to really point us in that direction, but we’ll keep investigating and we’ll let the facts guide us on how this concludes.”