Four Black teenagers, each 18-years old, kidnapped and tortured a White, disabled, ′special needs′ victim for at least 24 to 48 hours. Two of the assailants were women, one of which put about 30 minutes of the torture live on Facebook. The incident began in a Chicago suburb of Streamwood when the man was kidnapped and taken to an apartment on the west side of Chicago in a stolen car. The victim was tied and gagged. During his ordeal, he was beaten, abused and threatened with a knife. During the period where he was being tortured live on Facebook, his abductors forced him to say ″F*** Trump″ and ″F*** White people″. The victim was released Tuesday afternoon and was found by police wandering the streets dazed and confused. Chicago police took the victim to a hospital and later arrested the 4 kidnappers. Police are investigating the incident, but, as of now, will still not regard the event as a ′Hate Crime′.
One Chicago community activist, Andrew Holmes, has publicly stated that this event was a ′Hate Crime′. No official word as of yet from the infamous Southern Poverty Law Center, which specializes in categorizing hate crimes. This act of torture goes well beyond the pale of just a simple, teenage prank. Not only did they choose a target whom one of the assailants knew had a mental health disability, but the group seemed excited to post their actions on social media in hopes of the video going viral.
This crime raises several issues. First, with it taking place in Chicago, a city which now has one of the worst murder rates in the country, more questions must be asked about the effectiveness of their police under the current administration of the city. Mayor Rahm Emmanuel is dismissive of criticism on how his policies have restricted the ability of police to enforce laws and deal with violent criminals. After news of the murder rate for 2016, President-Elect Donald J. Trump tweeted on Twitter that if the Mayor could not handle the problem, it may be time for Federal assistance to restore law and order.
Then we have yet another case of teens out of control. Over the holidays, there was a rash of fights at shopping malls involving hundreds of teenagers and young adults. While no direct evidence has emerge as to whether or not these ′mall brawls′ were part of some organized ′flash mob′ events, each were covered heavily on social media. There has been a growing use of social media by young criminals to boast about and publicize their activities. This is a disturbing trend which is only getting worse.
Of course, we have the racial component in play here, as well. There seems little doubt that the choice of the victim and the method of his torture was racially motivated. While some may still try to argue that Blacks cannot be accused of ′Hate Crimes′ against White people, the evidence from the live-streaming video of this incident obviously goes contrary to that school of thought. This was most certainly a crime and most certainly involved hatred based on race. I do not know what other criteria are necessary for a act to be defined as a ′Hate Crime′ under federal law, but it seems to me that this one meets the basic standards.
Just kidnapping by itself is a serious felony. So these alleged criminals are in pretty hot water as it is. But adding torture to the mix does elevate the heinousness of the crime. This is another ongoing issue in our culture today. For example, here in the Detroit area, carjackers are now often forcing their victims to strip naked when stealing their cars. Not just for sexual reasons, but to further humiliate their victims. As a society, criminal behavior is becoming more and more violent and despicable. Some may point to music, video games and other aspects of popular culture for this trend. Whatever the source is, the fact is that it is happening and law enforcement, as well as our criminal justice system, must adjust to the new reality.
So what do you make of this abduction in Chicago? Should the 4 Black teenagers whom allegedly kidnapped a disabled, special needs White man be charged with a ′Hate Crime′? Were their selection of the victim, and actions to him, racially motivated? Should additional charges be brought for broadcasting torture live on Facebook? Is our society going down the toilet? Is this why Donald Trump was elected as a response to restore law and order in America? Should federal troops be sent into Chicago to restore order and perhaps even carry out a regime change on the city′s mayor and judges?
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