CHICAGO — Donations are pouring in for the kidnapped special needs teen who was bound, beaten and tortured during a Facebook Live broadcast in Chicago; contribution of more than $70,000 were showing up on the GoFundMe Friday evening. By Monday morning, they had more than doubled that, topping $140,000.
Bartlett Jackson, a GoFundMe regional communications manager, confirmed to the Associated Press that the account is legitimate, and that the creator has been working with the young man’s family.
The GoFundMe campaign called “Let’s show the Chicago victim love”, which had raised over $44,000 as of Friday morning, reached $70,000 from more than 2,400 donors that evening.
Suspects Jordan Hill, Tesfaye Cooper and Brittany Covington, all 18 years old, and 24-year-old Tanishia Covington, are charged with battery, kidnapping and hate crimes in connection to the attack of the 18-year-old victim.
Authorities say the suspects tied up the 18-year-old, who is from a Chicago suburb, for four to five hours.
The victim’s arms were bound and a sock was shoved in his mouth and shut by duct tape. The social media video shows the victim's assailants slap, cut, taunt and curse him.
During the video, two men cut the sleeve of the victim’s shirt. Then a man is seen cutting a patch of hair from the victim’s head with a knife.
Another video shows the victim being forced to drink toilet water.
“The victim was made to say, ‘I love Black people’ and ‘F--- Trump,’” according to Assistant State’s Attorney Erin Antonietti.
The video has been condemned by the president of the United States, the mayor of Chicago and a number of other elected officials and community leaders.