Brittany Herring: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

tanishia covington, brittany covington, tesfaye cooper, jordan hill

Clockwise from top left: Brittany Covington, Tanishia Covington, Tesfaye Cooper and Jordan Hill. (Chicago Police)

An 18-year-old woman who posted a Facebook Live video showing a man with special needs being tied up, tortured and beaten in a Chicago home is in police custody with three friends, authorities say.

Brittany Herring streamed the video live on Facebook on Tuesday while she and three men taunted and attacked the victim, a resident of a Chicago suburb, police said.

Charges were announced Thursday against Herring, 18, who also goes by the name Brittany Covington, along with Jordan Hill, 18; Tesfaye Cooper, 18; and Tanishia Covington, 24.

They were all charged with a hate crime, along with aggravated kidnapping and several other felonies.

Hill is from Carpentersville, Illinois, while Cooper and the Covingtons, who are sisters, are from Chicago.

The video shows the captors, who are black, making derogatory statements about Donald Trump and white people. But Chicago Police said Thursday morning they do not believe the victim, who is white, was targeted because of his race.

While the four suspects are charged with a hate crime, Chicago Police said Thursday they do not believe the victim was targeted because of his race, but that race did play a role in the attack.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told the Associated Press the attackers made some “terrible racist statements,’ but said investigators believe the victim was targeted because he “has special needs,” not because he’s white.

At a press conference later Thursday, police said the hate crime charge stems from both the racial comments made in the video and the diminished mental capacity of the victim.

The victim, also 18, had last been seen by his parents on December 31, and they told police they received texts from his captors while he was with them, WLS-TV reports. His parents live in Streamwood, Illinois, a suburb in Cook County, and police there are also investigating the case.

He was hospitalized after the assault, but was in stable condition on Wednesday, police said.

The four suspects remain in custody and are expected to appear in court Friday.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. The Attackers Yelled ‘F**k Donald Trump & ‘F*ck White People’ at the Victim as Herring Recorded the Live Video

You can watch the full Facebook Live video above (warning, the video contains graphic content and vulgar language).

Police told WFLD-TV they became aware of the video Wednesday afternoon and the incident occurred Tuesday. The group appearing to hold the man hostage are black, while the victim is white, but police say they have not yet determined if the case will be investigated as a hate crime.

In the video, one of the attackers can be heard yelling, “f*ck Donald Trump n*gger, f*ck white people, boy.”

Police told WBBM-TV the victim has special needs and was a high-risk missing person from a Chicago suburb.

The man, who is seen being kicked and punched and cut on his scalp, was hospitalized to be treated for his injuries, police said. He was recovering on Wednesday. The names of those in custody have not been released.

The 30-minute video was originally posted on Facebook Live by Brittany Herring, but has been deleted. It has since been re-uploaded on Youtube and elsewhere.

The video begins with the group of apparent captors yelling at the tied up man. They cut the sleeves of his sweatshirt as one says they’re going to make him “butt ass naked.”

The woman filming the video then appears to realize she’s on Facebook Live, but continues recording as she smokes. The video also includes numerous references to drinking and getting drunk.

The group makes several references to Donald Trump at the beginning of the video, yelling his name and cursing him.

Another video was also posted on Facebook with the caption #Trump Got Us #F*ckedup On My #DeadHomie.”

The second video, which you can watch below, shows the group taunting the victim and forcing him to drink from a toilet:

Several other videos were from the incident were posted on social media. In one, the victim is forced at knifepoint to say “f*ck Donald Trump.”


2. Police Said They Were Investigating Whether the Remarks About Trump & White People Are ‘Stupidity’ or a Hate Crime

brittany herring, brittany herring chicago, brittany herring facebook, brittany herring video

Brittany Herring. (Facebook)

While police spokesman Anthony Gulgielmi told the Associated Press they do not believe the incident was racially motivated, investigators are still working to determine if hate crime charges will be filed.

Police have said a motive for the attack has not been determined. Guglielmi said it is possible the suspects were trying to extort something from the family of the victim.

The Illinois hate crime law, a class 4 felony punishable by up to 2.5 years in prison, can be read below:

A person commits hate crime when, by reason of the actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or national origin of another individual or group of individuals, regardless of the existence of any other motivating factor or factors, he commits assault, battery, aggravated assault, misdemeanor theft, criminal trespass to residence, misdemeanor criminal damage to property, criminal trespass to vehicle, criminal trespass to real property, mob action, disorderly conduct, harassment by telephone, or harassment through electronic communications

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said they are still investigating and if the facts lead them in that direction, they will file hate crime charges.

“Kids make stupid mistakes, I shouldn’t call them kids, they are legally adults, but they are young adults and the make stupid decisions,” Duffin said of the vulgar remarks about Trump and white people. “That certainly will be part of whether or not we seek a hate crime, determine whether or not this is sincere or stupid ranting and raving.”

Johnson said the incident doesn’t appear to be politically motivated.

“I think part of it is just stupidity,” Johnson said. “People ranting about something they think might make a headline. At this point we don’t have anything concrete to point (toward a hate crime) but we’ll keep investigating and let the facts guide us on how this concludes.”

“It’s sickening,” Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said of the video. “It makes you wonder what would make individuals treat somebody like that. I’ve been a cop for 28 years and I’ve seen things you shouldn’t see in a lifetime, but it still amazes me how you still things you just shouldn’t. I’m not going to say it shocked me, but it was sickening.”

Johnson said he can’t connect what happened in the video to Trump talking and tweeting about violence in Chicago.

“If you looked at the video, it was just stupidity,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he didn’t know of any other incidents involving assaults targeting Trump supporters in the city.

In mid-November, four people were arrested after a man was attacked and robbed in Chicago while bystanders yelled “don’t vote for Trump,” DNAInfo reported. That attack was also caught on video:

The 50-year-old victim later said he voted for Trump, but did not have a bumper stick on his car or anything else to identify him as a Trump voter, according to DNAInfo.


3. The Victim Escaped When Herring’s Downstairs Neighbor Called Police to Report the Noise Coming From the Assault, Police Say

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Brittany Herring. (Facebook)

Police said the victim met his friend from high school, Jordan Hill, at a suburban McDonald’s on December 31, and they ended up in a stolen van, which was driven to the West Side of Chicago, where the attack took place in a home in the 3400 block of Lexington Avenue.

According to police, Hill stole the van without the victim knowing. They went to visit Hill’s friends in Chicago, and ended up at an apartment where the Covingtons live, police said.

While there, the victim told police he got into a “play fight” and it escalated, eventually leading to the slurs and racial attacks.

The victim was able to escape when the Covingtons’ downstairs neighbor called police to report the noise in their apartment. He was found wandering in the street by patrol Officer Michael Donnelly.

Police believe the victim was tied up for about four or five hours.

The Covingtons are also facing burglary charges because they kicked in the door of their neighbor while angry that person had called police, authorities said.

While on patrol Officers observed a disoriented male walking 3400 W. Lexington on January 3, 2017 who was then transported to an area hospital for treatment. At 5:26 p.m. officers then responded to a battery at a residence on the 3300 block of W. Lexington where they discovered signs of a struggle and damage to the property and (were) able to link this evidence to the disoriented male. Officers later became aware of a social media video depicting a batter of an adult male which is believed to be the same individual. At this point CPD believes the video is credible and detectives are questioning persons of interest in the case. The victim, whom CPD believes is from a neighboring suburb, was transported to an area hospital in stable condition. The investigation is ongoing.

Captain Steven Sesso, the commanding officer of the 11th District, said “alert 11th District officers encountered” the victim and it “didn’t feel right, the situation. They saw clearly this individual was in distress, that he was in crisis. And they cared enough to do something about it.”

Detective Commander Duffin said the victim is “traumatized by the incident” and it is hard for detectives to communicate with him.

He was with the group for at least 24 hours and possibly as many as 48 hours, police said.


4. Herring & Her Friends Are Facing Aggravated Kidnapping Charges & Up to 30 Years in Prison

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Brittany Herring. (Facebook)

The four suspects are facing several felony charges.

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office said they are charged with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and residential burglary. They are all also charged with hate crime, a charge police hesitated on committing to Wednesday night.

The most serious charge, aggravated kidnapping, carries a potential prison sentence of 30 years, with a minimum sentence of six years.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told the Chicago Tribune Thursday morning that they were working with prosecutors to “to build the strongest case.”

Police said at a press conference Wednesday night that the victim and suspects were still being interviewed by detectives and the Cook County District Attorney’s office.

“I’ve said time and time again that if you commit an act of violence in the city of Chicago, you will feel the full weight of the Chicago Police Department,” Superintendent Eddie Johnson said at the press conference. “And tonight, four individuals have experienced the consequences of their actions.”

Police said they were reviewing the videos of the incident, which spread quickly on social media.

The original video was pulled down from Facebook.

“We do not allow people to celebrate or glorify crimes on Facebook and have removed the original video for this reason,” the company said in a statement to The Guardian. “In many instances, though, when people share this type of content, they are doing so to condemn violence or raise awareness about it. In that case, the video would be allowed.”


5. Herring, Who Also Goes by the Name Brittany Covington, Was Arrested in October on a Larceny Charge

brittany covington, brittany herring, brittany herring mugshot

Brittany Covington in an October 2016 mugshot. (Chicago Police)

Brittany Herring, who also uses the name Brittany Covington, was arrested in October 2016, according to Chicago Police records.

She was arrested on October 4 and charged with retail theft of merchandise worth less than $300. The West Estes Avenue resident was released from custody on October 5 on $1,500 bail.

Herring posted on her Facebook page in December about having to go to court. The case appears to still be pending.

Her Facebook page was overrun with angry comments about the video on Wednesday.

A mugshot being spread on social media of a crying woman is not her, it is from an arrest in Texas.

Read more about Brittany Herring and the video in Spanish at AhoraMismo.com:

290 Comments

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290 Comments

Greg

They all deserve to sent to jail. If this has been a boy of color the entire country would be upset. Color plays no favorite, send them all to prison

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Buster

What does it take for “The Law” to call a hate crime a hate crime when it’s done to a white person?

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Jackrabbit90813

In Chicago, where they tolerate hundreds of murders every year, this is hardly worth mentioning. “Not” a Hate Crime. smh

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Anonymous

Not a Hate crime????? In your sick twisted head what is a hate crime????? Rot in Hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Anonymous

Honestly this wasn’t racist and well deserved!!! I mean, the man was white, after all!!!!!!!!!!!! (yes, I’m being sarcastic)

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RICK

Gas them all or Electric Chair…..! This type of activity must stop….! Fry a few of them and lets see who wants to continue this type of activity…..!!! THERE MUST BE CONSEQUENCES OR IT WILL NEVER STOP !!!!!!!

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Pat Williams

I agree. I would love to pull the lever on the electric chair and watch their heads explode and catch fire..hate crime all the way on their sick minds when they carried this out!

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Anonymous

Nope can’t just leave it like that, I got questions like …How you just gone drop your mentally challenged “loved one” off at McDonalds to wait for someone you ain’t never met…to spend any time with strangers you don’t even know. What were they thinking and is it something they do all the time.That in it self borders on neglect and abandonment. Mentally Challenged, they knew his mind wasn’t right,were they just trying to get rid of him? C’mon little kids get snatched in the church restroom and they leave him at McDonalds

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Becky Coburn

you sound like a damn fool, how dare you blame the parents of this sickening crime, and he did know one of them. i pray they get a life sentence they are evil…

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michael marx

Your making excuses for these Wild Rabid Animals behavior? What he Hell is wrong with you? You got questions? How about asking, how it is Possible for people to do this to another human being? You don’t say 1 word about these peoples Vial, Evil actions against this innocent young man. It must be okay for you? You must be from Chicago where Murdering someone is not big deal. Got news for you….. Its not OKAY! I feel sorry for you…

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michael

article only says “special needs” that could be full on retarded or just someone with real bad adhd who spends 1 period of his school time in a class focused on helping him learn without extra distractions and articale also said one of them he was meeting was a highschool friend

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Martine

How does it matter? If the parents trusted the wrong people, then they did. What they were thinking, and wether they do it all the time has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that these four savages kidnapped and tortured this guy for two days, made him drink piss, and cut his scalp, arms, and legs and used the wounds for an ashtray, all while screaming “F***** white people” What is your point? They went to school with this kid, and he knew one of them. Obviously the parents trusted that. Even if they shouldn’t have, it doesn’t change what they did even a tiny bit.

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Becky Coburn

this is so heartbreaking, i could not even watch half of that disgusting video, i pray they get a life sentence they are dangerous and and need to be off the street, i can’t imagine what that poor boy went through, i actually cried, how dare they treat a human being like that, i have no pity for the four of them i hope they throw the book at all of them. i am soooo mad and upset,those four scumbags are evil…

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Carla Marable

All of these defendant need to go to prison. I also believe their are other victims of these thugs .I also think it is not fair that BLM is being brought in this horrific crime.

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Will Rose

imagine if the races were reversed. total chaos. the country would go to shit and burn down from protests. if race changes the reaction of an event, it shows how racist our society is towards white people. how is this tolerated. if they were white and the tortured kid was black the whole country would be in an uproar and it would be on the news 24/7. we cant keep letting race be a determining factor of how society treats an individuals actions! wake up people!

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William Whatcott

I don’t actually think the racial component should factor into the sentencing (as disgusting as the racial slurs in the above videos are). Terrorizing someone with a knife because you are bored or because you hate tennis players or because you hate opera singers, or you are looking for money, is almost irrelevant when you enter this level of cruelty and brutality. The crime itself and the need to deter this type of behaviour should automatically merit a natural life sentence with no possibility of parole for all four of the offenders.

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Anonymous

they should get life and never be able to walk the streets again. or put to death

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€and¥~€an£

I am having a hard time personally trying to wrap my head around how this isn’t a hate crime. Until this article I have never actually read the definition of a hate crime. In the blue block above it clearly states that many of the things ha that were said in that first video, are hate crimes. Yes , there is far more vulger things in that video. But if your going to charge those 4 dumba$$£s with all those other charges, Why not throw that one into. Chances are there will be a plea deal made, and 1/2 the charges will get dropped. Throw that clearly stated hate crime in there too for them to have to fight. Give these fools more time behind bars. For any law enforcement agency to so casually state, “it’s just stupidity”, “they are kids,young adults”, shouldn’t make a damn difference in any way! Plenty of people make stupid decisions, and commit crimes, and have to do their time and pay their dues for their choices. All criminal acts are “stupidity”. Criminal acts of any nature are not from a persons smart, sound thinking . To think that it’s just stupidity is saying to the rest of the world that it’s ok to do stupid acts. No blame should be on the family for dropping off their 18 year old son at a eatery . I have a son who is way younger and has Autisim spectrum, and ADHD, which is a form of special needs. He is smart and just is sterio typed as a special needs child. As a parent I hope to be able to have my son lead a normal teenage life. I don’t plan on just keeping him by my side 24/7, and shouldn’t have to if he is capable of being out and about on his own. WE should not have to lock up our “special needs” loved ones. The jerks who commit these hanious crimes are the ones who should be locked up! To the idiotic person who posted that his family that dropped him off, you seriously need to view the real people Who did these things to this poor young man and blame them. I seriously hope that you are not a parent, or responible for teaching values to. They will end up victimizing a person special needs or not , with the ignorance that nothing is wrong or not have the brains or humanity , to make right choices in life! I hope the victim in this is on his way to a speedy recovery, and that the POS’s responsible for this wide array of crimes are taught better lessons while behind bars, where they should stay for a long time.

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Question

The 4 criminals: what are their addresses, phone numbers and family information?

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robert

Clearly it’s a hate crime. Could you began to think if white people did this and the out cry there would have been.

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TonyV

imagine if 4 white adults did this to a black person! BLM, NAACP, Farakan, Jackson, the Obamanites, all the other poverty pimps in the streets burning towns! All because of Obama, a radical crypto muslim islamist fundamentalist… that the CIA placed as a puppet affirmative action president! There are so many qualified black Americans that could have been president, but the secret forces did not even have the courtesy to select a black man, but a mulatto at that, a real slap in the face for black americans!

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Anonymous

How can a woman who gives birth sit and watch and slap around a kid who has mental issues, would she watch and cheer people on if they were doing this to her child. I don’t understand

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Vicki

They all deserve to die. And that’s what I hope happens to each one. Shanked and beaten in the shower……

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n. a.

“Stupid mistakes” ?? Aw, they’re just kids…. The idiot cops need to think again. And all the idiotic news stations & websites need to take the video(s) down & let them (& the joy-riding “kids”) fall in to frikkin’ obscurity, where they ALL belong. They’re not deserving of anything but a jail sentence. No attention, no nuthin’.

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blowfish

The girls will get 2 to 4 yrs, the dudes will get 5 to 8. That”s our justice system or ya…. !!@$%^%$

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Anonymous

If this was a black kid the whole country would be in an uproar, and they certainly wouldn’t be hesitant to call it a hate crime.

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icarus11

They had at least one knife and were a threat to his life. The guy who was assaulted should have had a gun: 4 less trash on the street.

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Marshall

To the two jack off tough men . I have a prison term you need to learn Quickly.
” toss salad ” stock up on mouth wash ass holes , I’m not talking about toilet water. .hahaha lol oh , payback a bitch …

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