Police announced Thursday that three teenage girls who were seen beating a 15-year-old mentally disabled girl in an online video will be charged with felonies.
Chicago Police Lt. Ozzie Valdez said that two of the girls will be charged with aggravated battery and the third with mob action. All three of the teens will be charged as juveniles. (RELATED: Teens Beat Up Mentally Disabled Girl As Bystanders Laugh And Record The Act)
“In their interviews, the detectives learned that the victim met several juveniles, who she thought were her friends,” Valdez said. “These girls then taught her how to flash gang signs, and as this was occurring, a beating began, which was captured on video.”
Valdez notes that the victim was reported missing on July 18th by her father. The attack itself occurred on Monday after the victim had come in contact with the three juveniles. Police believe the juveniles were friends of the victim.
The police became aware of the attack Monday while investigating the victim’s disappearance after a cellphone video of the attack appeared on social media.
An alleged friend of the victim helped spread the video online in order to bring “justice for my friend.” The video now has over 6 million views.
These girls jumped my friend Janise Harris who has a mental disability that has been progressing since the passing of her mother, I know this won’t blow up since I’m a small account but please, share and rt! I want justice for my friend, she didn’t deserve any of this. pic.twitter.com/yq3OkOlTkq
— ???????????????? * ????????♂️ (@D4MURE) July 23, 2019
The 15-year-old victim can been seen in the video getting punched by several girls while screaming in agony before being pushed onto the pavement while the individual filming laughs.
On Tuesday evening, police located and picked up the victim and took her to a hospital for treatment.
Valdez added that the teens being charged were not the only ones present in the video and more people could be facing charges as the investigation is ongoing.
“I’ve got to tell you, it broke my heart to see this group of young people turn on her and escalated into what we saw — a physical assault,” said Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.
“Actions depicted in the video are difficult to watch to say the least and I hope that they become a teachable moment for not only these young individuals but actually for all of us,” said Johnson. “Hate, bullying and bigotry are cancers of our society that do nothing but break and divide us.”
Police did not release the names of the three juveniles being charged because they are all minors.
The grandmother of the victim reacted in horror when she found what had happened to her 15-year-old special needs granddaughter.
“It was like, ‘Oh my God, you know, that’s my baby,’” she said to The Chicago Tribune. “To see them attack her, just defenseless … all by herself, it was hurtful.”