A 19 year old Chicago woman who live-streamed the racially charged kidnapping, torture and mutilation of a mentaly disabled teen was given 200 hours of community service and four years of probation on Friday.
Brittany Herring Covington – who went by “Herring” on Social Media before her arreest, and “Covington” in recent reports, avoided a possible 33 years in prison on multiple counts, including a hate crime, aggravated battery and aggravated kidnapping – a charge which was dropped along with several others as part of a plea agreement.
Brittany Herring (Covington) mugshot
Cook County Circuit Judge William Hooks handed down the slap on the wrist to Covington, who pleaded guilty to a hate crime, aggravated battery and intimidation charges – telling the teen that he could have sent her to prison, but told her “I’m not sure if I did that you’d be coming out any better.“
Hooks warned Covington that should she violate the terms of her probation – which includes a ban from social media for four years, she would face prison time. As part of the plea deal, prosecutors agreed to drop additional charges including kidnapping.
Judge William Hooks, Cook County IL
“Do not mess this up,” Judge Hooks said to Covington, who stood in front of him in a blue jumpsuit. Hooks is notably the first African-American president of Chicago’s Federal Bar Association, a past president of the Cook County Bar Association, and a member of the Muslim Bar Association of Chicago.
Tanisha Covington, Tesfaye Cooper, Brittany Herring Covington, Jordan Hill and victim
The brutal attack took place in early January, after four black Chicago teens kidnapped the mentally disabled white teen and held him captive for nearly two days – binding his hands and feet with duct tape and gagging him with a sock, before using a knife to cut and stab the victim while laughing, shouting racial slurs and issuing death threats. In one segment of the livestreamed attack, one of the females can be seen laughing as she punches the victim. At another point, one of the male attackers wraps a cord around the victim’s neck while he groaned in pain, and in another a male approaches the victim with a knife and asks the others “Should I shank his ass?” Other notable quotes include:
“Fuck Donald Trump, Fuck white people”
“There’s gonna be a murder. Pop pop pop”
“We gonna put this bitch in the trunk, put a brick on the gas, like aaaaaaaaah”
“Pistol whip his ass, fool“
After nearly 48 hours, the kidnapped teen escaped after the kidnappers left the apartment to confront a neighbor who had called 911 to complain about the noise coming out of their apartment where the torture was taking place.
The video, which can be seen here, or here immediately went viral. After the teens were arrested, Chicago PD initially said it was not racially motivated, despite it clearly being a hate crime. Jordan Hill, 18, of Carpentersville; Tesfaye Cooper, 18, of Chicago; and Brittany Herring’s sister Tanishia, 24, were each charged with aggravated kidnapping, hate crimes, aggravated unlawful restraint and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
After her arrest, Brittany Herring Covington bragged on Facebook from a smart phone she was able to sneak into jail, posting “yall mad?” and “Sittin in dis cell on my celly talking to yall trippin. Erbody got phones in her these day,” and typing “Tfse” which stands for “The Funniest Shit Ever.”
And for her participation in the brutal crime, Herring-Covington only received 200 hours of community service and four years of probation. Meanwhile, a Broward County, Florida man who vandalized a Mosque and left bacon inside was sentenced to 15 years in prison last week.
The three other kidnappers charged along with Herring-Covington are still awaiting trial. Perhaps Judge Hooks will give them the key to the city.