op-ed

It’s Time For Jeff Sessions To Bring Hate Crime Charges Against Chicago’s Facebook Live Torture Suspects

Jeff Sessions Getty Images/Win McNamee

William J. Kelly Host, Citizen Kelly Show
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It’s time for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to open an investigation into Chicago’s Facebook Live torture case. Federal prosecutors must bring federal hate crime charges against the four offenders.

Why? Because Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, who was backed by Black Lives Matter activists to win election in 2016 isn’t at all concerned about violations of the Illinois hate crime statute, which took place in early 2017 when a mentally disabled teen, who happens to be white, was kidnapped and brutally tortured by four black assailants shouting, “F*ck Trump!” and “F*ck white people!”

Instead, this week, Chicago prosecutors offered Brittany Covington, 24, one of the perpetrators, a nifty plea deal. In exchange for Covington pleading guilty to committing a hate crime, aggravated battery, and intimidation, prosecutors agreed to drop the kidnapping charge and other charges.

How much jail time will Covington serve?

No jail time.

Four years of probation. The judge also ordered Covington not to use social media for four years and perform 200 hours of community service.

Yet last week a Florida man was sentenced to 15 years in prison after he pled guilty to mosque vandalism. He apparently broke into the mosque, smashed windows and left a slab of raw bacon at the mosque’s doorstep in an act of defilement.

Florida prosecutors reached a plea deal after speaking with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has been accused of having terrorist ties. Since when do prosecutors confer with CAIR over sentencing?

But Chicago’s Facebook Live torturers did much more than bring home the bacon.

On December 31, 2016, the 18-year-old mentally disabled victim was dropped off at a Chicago area McDonald’s by his parents. On January 2, his parents reported him missing. Covington and her three co-defendants stole a van to meet and kidnap the victim, who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

On January 3, the perpetrators turned on a Facebook Live stream to record the victim,  who was gagged, beaten, taunted, had part of his scalp removed with a knife, and was forced to kiss the floor and drink from a toilet bowl. The attackers are heard shouting “F*ck white people!” in the background of the video. The video lasted 28 minutes but the victim was tied up for hours.

In Illinois, hate crimes are a Class 4 felony and carry a sentence of one to three years. An aggravated battery carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Kidnapping is a class 2 felony, which calls for three to seven years in prison.

However, because the victim is mentally disabled, this meets the requirements of an aggravated kidnapping, a Class X felony, which calls for a sentence of 6 to 30 years. If a Class X felony is committed, even a first-time offender with no criminal history is subject to a mandatory prison sentence.  Federal sentencing guidelines call for a sentence to be increased by 40% when a hate crime is committed.

President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions: Please do not allow this crime of hate to go unpunished. Open a Justice Department investigation. Charge the assailants under federal hate crime statutes.

Let justice really be done.

William J. Kelly is the host of “The Citizen Kelly Show” on Chicagoland radio station WCGO-AM. In 2015, Kelly is also an Emmy award-winning TV producer and he writes “The Chicago Rules,” a monthly column for Newsmax. 


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.