Why am I not surprised?
A day after cameras were barred from the courtroom, Chicago judge Peggy Chiampas prohibited sketch artists from drawing the faces of the four adult defendants in the live-streamed kidnapping, torture, and mutilation of an 18 year old mentally handicapped classmate.
The attackers were charged with a hate crime after police witnessed the shocking footage of the victim bound and gagged, beaten, and made to drink toilet water while his assailants shouted “Fuck Donald Trump and fuck white people!” Jordan Hill, 18, of Carpentersville; Tesfaye Cooper, 18, of Chicago; and Brittany Herring Covington, 19, and her sister Tanishia, 24, were each charged with aggravated kidnapping, hate crime, aggravated unlawful restraint and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
Public defenders Amy Campanelli and Neil Toppel successfully convinced Judge Chiampas that online death threats and “sensationalized” media coverage justify shielding the four from public scrutiny, citing a tumblr post calling for the “public execution” of the defendants. Moreover, Campanelli argues they should not be held in jail pending trial for kidnapping, torturing, and mutilating a guy while shouting racist anti-Trump epithets:
“Sensationalized, pervasive media coverage threatens to poison the jury pool for my clients,” Campanelli said, though trials in high-profile cases at the Leighton Criminal Court Building can take years to take place. “They have already been denounced in the media before anything has been proven.”
“Worse, these are young people who should not be held in jail but are being held without bond because they have been prejudged,” she said. “We will be seeking their release from jail.”
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
#1 – We all saw that video of the nearly two day long kidnapping and torture of the mentally disabled man.
#2 – The victim only escaped because a neighbor called 911 due to the noise coming out of the apartment where the torture was taking place. What would have happened if he hadn’t escaped? The assailants were heard saying:
“There’s gonna be a murder. Pop pop pop“
#3 – The woman who streamed the kidnapping, Brittany Herring Covington, showed zero remorse – even while posting to Facebook FROM JAIL:
#4 – Public defender logic; my clients are receiving death threats – the only reasonable action is to release them from jail.
Apparently these four, charged with a hate crime, deserve to be hidden from public. As their attorney Amy Campanelli said outside the courtroom:
“It is sad and unfortunate” that the case has provoked widespread comment from people who didn’t know “all the facts.”
I think we’d all love to know what facts she’s referring to. CNN’s Don Lemon thinks this is just a case poor parenting, after all.