4 accused in Facebook
Live beating plead not guilty in Chicago-
The attack on the man who authorities described as having "mental health challenges" drew international outrage after the video was widely shared on social media. The victim, who is white, was tied up for four or five hours, gagged and beaten, his scalp was cut and he was forced to drink toilet water, police said.
The four defendants were each charged with a hate crime, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
Jordan Hill, 18, Tesfaye Cooper, 18 and sisters Brittany Covington, 19, and Tanishia Covington, 24, have remained in jail since they were arrested for the Jan. 3 incident.
The victim's family told authorities that they had received overwhelming support on social media. The incident also drew the attention of then-U.S. President Barack Obama, who called it "terrible" in an interview with Chicago's ABC affiliate.
Police said the victim knew at least one of his accused tormentors, meeting Hill at a McDonald's restaurant in a Chicago suburb during the last week of December.
Hill picked up the victim in a stolen van, police said. While the victim's parents reported him missing, their son and Hill spent the next two days together, visiting friends and sleeping in the van.
On Jan. 3, a "play fight" between the two in the Covington sisters' apartment escalated, police said.
In the video, the attackers could be heard making comments about "white people" as the victim cowered in a corner, his mouth taped shut.
At least one of the attackers could also be heard saying obscenities about Donald Trump, who was then president-elect. Police said they did not know whether the victim was a Trump supporter.
Alerted to the incident by neighbors who complained of noise coming from the apartment, police found the victim outside in freezing weather wearing only a tank top, shorts and sandals.
He was taken to a hospital and later
released. Members of the public alerted investigators to the
Facebook Live video.
Two teen girls face
murder charges for beating student to death on Facebook
The unidentified Canadian teens, 16 and 17, of Sagkeeng Anicinabe High School, shared the disturbing footage to their social media page as well as a private instant messaging app, which demonstrated their bloody assault on Serena McKay, 19.
McKay, who was set to graduate this month, was last seen by her family Sunday, April 23, the same day she was found dead nearby the home.
McKay was heard in the recorded video crying out to her perpetrators, I'm so sorry.
The footage was left streaming on Facebook for nearly four hours before it was ordered to be taken down, according to a CBC report.
Principal of Sagkeeng Anicinab High, Claude Guimond alleged drugs may have been a factor in the violent crime.
Two teenage girls are facing murder charges after a video showing the brutal beating of a Canadian high school student was posted on Facebook.
"After seeing what I saw on the video, you know what? There's nobody in their right mind (who) would do something like that, unless they were extremely high on whatever and just totally, like, out of it," Guimond told the newspaper.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are currently investigating the incident, as well as "a case of mistaken identity" which involved officers grabbing and handcuffing the wrong 16-year-old suspect at a local bus stop.
"Once it was learned that it was not the correct person, she was released immediately," police said in a statement.
The mistakenly arrested teens
parents have since filed a formal complaint on the
save teen attempting to commit suicide on Facebook Live:
'The right people were watching'
Several people alerted authorities after becoming aware of the Macon broadcast at approximately 7:30 p.m., according to the Telegraph. Facebook officials also called 911.
"It's a good thing that the people watching this called it in," Bibb County Sheriff David Davis told the newspaper. "Those people did the right thing."
Patrol cars arrived on the scene approximately 30 minutes after the initial calls were made, according to the paper. The girl had taken pills and put a plastic bag over her head, according to WMAZ.
The teen was hospitalized but was doing OK on Wednesday, according to the Telegraph.
"All social media is a conduit for attention," Davis told the newspaper. "Even in this tragic situation, this young lady was looking for attention, and thankfully, the right people were watching. ... It could have been more tragic."
Many other Facebook Live broadcasts have ended differently. Last month, an Alabama man committed suicide on Facebook Live, and a young Thai girl was killed by her father on Facebook before he hanged himself.
Three people live-streamed their own suicides in January alone.
Alabama man streams suicide on Facebook Live
A Georgia teen tried to take her own life while broadcasting on Facebook Live on Tuesday
Facebook took steps on Wednesday to try to keep violent material off its platform by announcing it would hire 3,000 additional people to review videos. The social media giant has been criticized for not responding quickly enough to disturbing Facebook Live videos.
"It's heartbreaking, and I've been reflecting on how we can do better for our community," CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook.
Zuckerberg said Facebook reviews "millions of reports" every week.
Davis told the Telegraph that the teen's suicide attempt was the first such Facebook Live incident in the county.
"We are a voyeuristic society," he told the newspaper. "Its really troubling that you have things like this, to have access to people being able to put something up live, as it happens. ... We see more often that it ends in regret."
If you or someone you know is in
distress, please contact the National Suicide Prevention
Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or
text the Crisis Text Line 741741.