Last January there was a livestream going on that shocked the country. Four, teens who were African-American had kidnapped a mentally disabled, white 18, year-old male, who they had gagged and tied-up sitting in a corner. The 2 males, who would later be identified as Jordan Hill, 18, and Tesfaye Cooper, 18, cut the victim’s clothes, hair and scalp, with a knife while the 2 young females, sisters Brittany,18, and Tanisha Covington, 23, just laughed and recorded the whole incident. They were also verbally assaulting him for his whiteness and his color’s connection to then President-elect Donald Trump. Also in the video showed the victim being forced to drink out of the toilet as the verbal assault continued.
Jordan Hill, the alleged ringleader of the group, said that he was a friend of the 18 year old victim and he was the one that led him to an apartment in the Chicago West Side. Later, he sent the victim’s parents a Facebook message demanding $300 for the return of their child. Luckily the 18 year-old was able to escape when the group confronted a neighbor over the loud noises they were making. The victim it turns out has schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. As of Thursday, here is what we know about the 4 defendants;
Jordan Hill, now 20, accepted an eight year prison plea deal just like the one he turned down in March. He pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated kidnapping, and guilty on committing a hate crime. Thursday he was sentenced to the 8 years in prison. Also on Thursday, Tesfaye Cooper, now 20, was considering a plea deal according to his lawyer.
Tanisha Covington, now 25, pleaded guilty back in April and was sentenced to three years in prison. She was residing at the apartment where the incident took place. With credit for time already served, she was paroled last week.
Brittany Covington, now 20, pleaded guilty and was earlier sentenced to four years probation that included a ban on using social media. However she was taken back into custody in April for doing what? Allegedly accessing Facebook 3 different days in March. There was software installed into her phone that recorded such information. Her lawyer, April Preyar, alleged that is was Brittany’s boyfriends mother who accessed Facebook when she borrowed the phone.
Judge William Hooks seemed skeptical (I wonder why…hmm) by this excuse. He remarked that,”If your liberty interest depends on whether you’re on Facebook or not … it makes no sense at all that you would then take your cellphone and hand it to somebody.” She remained in jail till her hearing earlier this month and was released back on parole.
Before sentencing, Judge Hooks who is also African-American asked Hill if he was proud to be Black. Quietly Hill said yes as the Judge pointed to the portraits of famous Black Americans who fought for Black equality. Mr. Hill not-shockingly did not know any of them that the Judge pointed out. The message was clear when the judge said that Hill basically pissed on all their graves when he decided to beat up a defenseless human being and acted the way he did. Mr. Hill will have 8 years to think on this, and maybe, just maybe when he is released, he will make up for the wrongs he committed.