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Teens in Facebook Live attack indicted, lawyers call case 'sensationalized'

Four people have been charged with a hate crime in an attack on a man with mental disabilities that was recorded on Facebook Live.

Steve Schmadeke Chicago Tribune

Moments after Cook County prosecutors announced indictments against four people on charges of attacking a teen with mental disabilities live on Facebook video, the county's public defender blasted "sensationalized" media coverage that she said has led to death threats against the defendants as well as their lawyers.

In an extraordinary move, Judge Peggy Chiampas barred courtroom sketch artists from drawing the faces not only of defendants Jordan HillTesfaye Cooper and sisters Tanishia and Brittany Covington but also their attorneys, citing safety and security risks. A day earlier, the judge had rejected allowing cameras to record the hearing.

Public Defender Amy Campanelli said outside court that "it is sad and unfortunate" that the case has provoked widespread comment from people who didn't know "all the facts."

The case drew national outrage, including from some who attempted to link the attack by four African-Americans on an 18-year-old white man to the Black Lives Matter movement without evidence.


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