President Obama weighed in on the brutal Facebook video showing four African-Americans torturing a white man in Chicago, calling it a “despicable” act and a hate crime.
Obama commented on the incident during an interview on Thursday, after Chicago police announced that the four suspects involved in the vicious crime have been charged with kidnapping, hate crimes and a slew of other offenses.
Obama denied that racial tensions have increased in the Windy City, his home town. He said that smart phones and the Internet has just made such incidents more visible.
“What we have seen as surfacing, I think, are a lot of the problems that have been there a long time,” he said told CBS Chicago .
“Whether it’s tensions between police and communities, hate crimes of the despicable sort that has just now recently surfaced on Facebook.”
“I take these things very seriously,” Obama continued.
The video, which was released on Wednesday, shows four suspects screaming “fuck white people” and “fuck Donald Trump” while tormenting, assaulting and cutting their 18-year-old white captive.
The suspects kidnapped the victim on Dec. 31. He is said to be mentally impaired.
Earlier on Thursday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said it was “too early to tell” if the suspects committed a hate crime. Though Obama now says that the brutal attack is a hate crime, it is unclear if the administration will pursue federal charges.
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