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US judge refuses to let Facebook live torturers go

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
(Top, L-R): Jordan Hill, Brittany Covington (Bottom, L-R): Tanishia Covington, Tesfaye Cooper (photo via Chicago Police Department)

An American judge in the city of Chicago refuses to set free four African Americans accused of torturing a mentally disabled white boy as captured by a cell phone and released live via Facebook.

Cook County Circuit Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil was perplexed Friday over how the four could resort to such "terrible actions."

The graphic video, which showed the beating and torturing of the18-year-old along with profanities against white people and US President-elect Donald Trump, was viewed millions of times.

"Where was your sense of decency?" asked the judge, refusing to let them post bail and leave jail.

The suspects have been identified as Brittany Covington and Tesfaye Cooper, both of Chicago, and Jordan Hill, of suburban Carpentersville, all with 18 years of age. A fourth suspect was identified as Covington's 24-year-old sister, Tanishia Covington, also from Chicago.

One of the assailants captured the video and streamed it on Facebook live.

The four also forced the young boy to drink toilet water, kiss the floor and then stuffed a sock into his mouth and taped it shut while his hands were tied with a belt, according to prosecutors.

The beating apparently started in a van earlier, when one of the assailants failed to receive $300 from the mother of the victim, a schizophrenic with attention-deficit disorder, and was asked by her to let her son go.

The video shows the two male assailants cutting the victim's hair and his sweatshirt by a knife, while a female is heard laughing.

One of the assailants pulls the cord from the victim's sweatshirt around his neck and holds him up as he cries in pain. Meanwhile, the other one approaches him with a knife and asks if he should “shank” him.

The suspects now face two counts of committing a hate crime — one over the victim's race and the other because of his mental condition.

The graphic video stirred emotions still raw following a bitter presidential election, replete with hate speech and calls for division among races.

It also brought to the spotlight the rate of crime in Chicago, substantially higher than the US average.

According to a Chicago Tribune count, at least 781 were killed in the city in 2016.

"2016 saw an unacceptable rise in violence, beginning at the outset of the year," said Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesman for the Chicago Police Department earlier.

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