Brittany Covington plea deal is a slap in the face to the victim she tormented
Advocates for disability rights are up in arms after Brittany Covington, the 19 year old woman who, along with her friends beat up a disabled teenager and captured it all live on Facebook Live was offered a plea deal in exchange for pleading guilty to a racial hate crime.
Covington, who had been in custody since January after being arrested for the brutal assault will get a slap on the wrist in the form of four years of probation and a ban from using any social media.
The 19 year old along with her co-defendants thought it would be funny to kidnap and beat up a mentally disabled Chicago teen on Facebook Live, leading to many wondering why Facebook has no safeguard in place to prevent inappropriate footage from being shown.
Former president Barack Obama, nearing the end of his second term even weighed in on the brutal assault, calling it “despicable.”
brutal assault on mentally disabled Chicago teen
Another defendant, Jordan Hill and the victim knew each other from high school, so the victim thought nothing of it when Hill offered him a ride in a stolen van.
The pair drove around for three days visiting friends, and ended up inside an apartment being rented by Covington and her older sister, where a play fight turned into a vicious attack.
According to the victim’s family he went missing in January, and they suddenly started receiving text messages from him stating that he had been kidnapped and was being held hostage.
In the video, Covington’s face is prominant, and she is seen smoking a joint while narrating.
The video shows the four defendants gagging and tying up the teen inside a Chicago apartment, cutting his head with a knife, kicking and punching him and laughing all the while.
It also shows the teen being dragged into the apartment bathroom and being forced to drink from the toilet.
The victim was able to escape the apartment when the attackers went to confront neighbours who were complaining about the noise they were making.
He was later treated in hospital for wounds to his head, face and body as well as a stab wound to his left arm, authorities said.
Brittany Covington gets off easy after brutal assault
Cook County Circuit Judge William Hooks banned Covington from communicating with her co-defendants and also ordered her to complete 200 hours of community service.
Calling the attack “horrific”, the judge told Covington that he could have given her jail time but “I’m not sure if I did that you’d be coming out any better.”
“Do not mess this up,” Hooks told Covington, adding that she will go to prison if she violates any of her probation terms.
Also charged were Jordan Hill, 19, as well as Tesfaye Cooper, 19, and Covington’s sister, Tanishia, 25. They remain behind bars as their cases remain pending, as prosecutors continue working out their plea deals.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.