Four young black adults were arrested and charged in connection with an attack on a white teenager from the Chicago suburbs, part of which occurred in an apartment on Chicago’s West Side and was broadcast on Facebook Live on January 3, the New York Times reports.
The 18-year-old victim, who is mentally disabled, suffers from schizophrenia and attention deficit disorder, and attends an alternative school in Aurora, was found after the beating by Chicago police officers. He was wandering the streets in a daze.
One of the defendants, Jordan Hill, 18, attends the same school and knew the victim personally. Police say he went with the victim, as friends, to a McDonald’s in Streamwood before any part of the attack took place. They had a dispute and Mr Hill allegedly stole a van and drove the victim, eventually, to the apartment where the beating occurred.
- Initial court filing of charges (graphic language)
The victim can be seen in the video, blurry as it may be, tied up and beaten by the four young black adults who have been arrested and ordered held without bond. During the attack, they can be seen slicing off some of his hair and drawing blood. They also hollered racial insults at him and denounced President-elect Donald Trump.
On the show “Fox and Friends,” former US Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said, “If this had been done to an African-American by four whites, every liberal in the country would be outraged, and there would be no question it is a hate crime.”
The four young black adults have indeed been charged with a hate crime in addition to the aggravated kidnapping and battery connected with this racially-charged incident. However, we can’t assume motivation until the defendants have their day in court. The campaign brought hateful rhetoric out of nowhere, and we have to hold off judgment on the perpetrators.
It is known, however, that teenagers with disabilities are more than twice as likely to be the victims of violent crimes as those without disabilities, a Justice Department report says. Key findings:
- Among persons ages 12 to 15, the unadjusted rate of violent victimization was nearly three times higher for persons with disabilities (123 per 1,000) than for persons without disabilities (43 per 1,000) in 2012.
- In 2012, among persons ages 16 to 19, persons with disabilities had an unadjusted rate of violent victimization (102 per 1,000) that was about 2.5 times higher than that of persons without disabilities (41 per 1,000).
- The rate of violent victimization among persons with disabilities ages 12 to 15 increased from 77 per 1,000 in 2011 to 123 per 1,000 in 2012.
As for the victim here, repair is the demand from those who seek true restorative justice. He has been gravely injured, and justice demands not revenge, but repair.
Money could help with some of that, although the victim’s family certainly isn’t asking for any. Razor Sheldon, of San Francisco, who runs a Reddit site called Uplifting News, has started a GoFundMe page for the victim that had raised more than $76,000 as of Friday evening.
Restorative justice, as we have reported, focuses on repairing the injury, not on punishing the perpetrators. The latter is left for law enforcement, while the former comes under the domain of our communities. “100% of funds raised will go directly to this young man and/or his family/guardians,” Mr Sheldon wrote. “Let’s prove to him that there is far more good in this world than the evil he experienced.”