A woman who live-streamed herself and a trio of friends abusing a mentally disabled man and taunting him with racial insults was sentenced to probation Friday after spending nearly a year behind bars.
Brittany Covington, 19, had been held at the Cook County Jail without bond since January, when she and co-defendants Tesfaye Cooper, Jordan Hill and her 24-year-old sister Tanishia Covington were arrested on kidnapping and hate-crime charges.
The plea deal prosecutors made with Brittany Covington makes her the first of the four to be released, though she will remain on probation for four years and is barred from contact with Cooper and Hill.
Brittany Covington narrated Facebook Live video of the others tormenting the 18-year-old white man in the West Side apartment she shared with her sister.
The victim, a Crystal Lake man who had been classmates with Hill at a west suburban alternative high school, appears terror-stricken as he was taunted with racially-tinged insults — including calling him a supporter of then-President-elect Donald Trump. Hill and Cooper allegedly cut his clothing with a knife, punched and kicked him. In one Facebook video, the man was forced to drink water from a toilet bowl.
The victim, on video, was also was allegedly threatened with a knife. Someone told the victim, “kiss the floor, b—-!” and “nobody can help you anymore.” At one point, someone told the victim, “say ‘I love black people.’ ”
The videos drew outrage from then President Barack Obama, who condemned the acts as “despicable.”
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SOURCE: Chicago Sun-Times, Andy Grimm