Tag: Facebook

Chicago Facebook Live Gang Rape Video: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

A 15-year-old girl was allegedly gang-raped in Chicago on Facebook Live, and the dozens of people watching the video stream did nothing to stop the assault, according to The Associated Press.

The AP reports that 40 people watched the Facebook Live rape. The girl’s mother spoke to a Chicago reporter. You can watch that video above.

The girl was missing for several days before police rescued the teen after her mother confronted the city’s police chief with photos. The girl is not being identified by Heavy because she is a juvenile and a victim of sexual assault, although she was named in some Chicago media reports.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. The Girl’s Mother Confronted Police Chief Eddie Johnson With Screenshots From the Video

The victim’s mother spurred an investigation after she went up to Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson as he left a station on Chicago’s west side, AP reports.

The mother showed him photos of the girl being assaulted, and Johnson ordered an immediate investigation, police said. CBS Chicago described it as a “chance encounter” between the mother and police chief because she was going to the station to report her daughter missing.

“I’m a father with two daughters, and I could see the pain in her face, and I want her to know that CPD is here to help you,” Johnson told a CBS2 reporter.

The police spokesman wrote on Twitter that police were working “around the clock” to find the girl before they located her. She was “sexually assaulted on Facebook,” the spokesman wrote.

The teen had vanished after going to a store, and her uncle found the Facebook Live video, according to The Chicago Tribune.

A police alert described her as being “last seen wearing a pink hooded sweatshirt and a green jacket in the 1400 block of South Avers.”

However, according to the Tribune, police found the girl a few minutes later “walking about four blocks from her home…She appeared to be in ‘good condition’ and was returned to her mother.”


2. Police Are Seeking as Many as Six Suspects & the Girl’s Mother Labeled the Video ‘Disgusting’

NBC 5 reported that police say they are seeking between five and six suspects in the alleged Facebook Live rape.

According to the television station, police say they are both juveniles and adults. The victim’s mother described the video as “disgusting, it’s so disgusting” to CBS Chicago and “said the video showed her daughter in various stages of undress with several young men. She said her daughter appeared to be scared.”

According to CBS Chicago, the mother added, “For you to do something like that and then to post it up on Facebook like it’s a joke, it’s just terrible. I know they’ll get their day coming.”

WGN-TV reported that detectives are tracking down the owner of the Facebook account that streamed the video.

On March 21, the police spokesman tweeted that the girl “was found by 10th district officers. She is now at the Area with her mother & detectives are conducting interviews.”


3. The People Watching the Stream Live Took No Action, Police Say

Facebook Live has sparked a new generation of crime, in which people watch horrors streamed online and take no action. It happened in Florida, where a mother is accused of trolling her daughter in comments as the teenager streamed her suicide live on Facebook (she denies the accusations).

It brings to mind a modern version of the Kitty Genovese murder, in which a New York woman’s slaying on a city street in front of witnesses who didn’t act became a parable of indifference to other people’s suffering.

And, now, Chicago police say 40 people watched the gang rape video live and did nothing, according to NBC 5.

“Here’s what’s even more disturbing, more than the fact that they did this, there were so many people that saw it and didn’t pick up the phone to dial 911,” Johnson told WGN-TV. “That’s not right. It’s just not right.”

A principal had tweeted about the girl’s success last year, saying she was accepted into a technical high school in Chicago and adding, “Congratulations…We are so proud of you.”

However, it’s not the first time the girl has gone missing, according to WGN-TV, which reported, “The teen has disappeared once before but her mother says she was found later that day in a neighborhood park.”

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4. Facebook Has Removed the Video at the Request of Police

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Chicago Police Department Headquarters on September 21, 2016.(Getty)

Unlike other Facebook Live videos, the disturbing video has not appeared online since it was removed from Facebook.

The police spokesman told The Chicago Sun-Times that Superintendent “Johnson immediately ordered an investigation and the department contacted Facebook to take down the video, which it did.”

WGN-TV said it saw screen grabs from the video, and they were “too graphic” to be broadcast on television.


5. Chicago Has Seen Other Crimes Streamed Live on Facebook

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Clockwise from top left: Brittany Covington, Tanishia Covington, Tesfaye Cooper and Jordan Hill. (Chicago Police)

Four people faced hate crime and felony charges, including kidnapping, after a “disturbing” and “brutal” video showing a man with “mental health challenges” being tied up, beaten and tortured was streamed live on Facebook “for the entire world to see,” Chicago police said.

That incident occurred in early January and caused outrage throughout the country.

In the video, one of the attackers made derogatory comments about Donald Trump throughout the nearly 30-minutes of footage. You can learn more about that Facebook Live video here:

WATCH: Man ‘Tied Up & Tortured’ on Facebook Live in Chicago

A man with special needs was tied up and tortured in a Facebook Live video in Chicago, police say. In the video a person can be heard yelling slurs about Donald Trump.

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READ: Elizabeth Thomas & Tad Cummins Social Media Posts

Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas. (TBI and Twitter photos)

Elizabeth Thomas, the missing high school freshman on the run with her 50-year-old teacher, calls herself “wife” on Instagram, and posted a graphic from Beauty and the Beast around the time she vanished that says “every beauty needs her beast to protect her from everything but him.”

Here’s a screenshot of the top of Elizabeth Thomas’ Instagram page:

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Elizabeth Thomas’ Instagram page. (Instagram)

She also posted graphics like this:

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Both Elizabeth, 15, and teacher Tad Cummins filled their Instagram pages with love sayings in recent weeks.

Around the time they disappeared, Cummins wrote on Instagram, “Good morning all! This is going to be an amazing day! Let’s do this! #strong #unbreakable #love.”

Cummins is accused by Tennessee authorities of kidnapping Elizabeth after another student alleged he had kissed the teen in a classroom at Culleoka High School in Tennessee. The teacher and student have been on the run since March 13, and Tennessee authorities have launched a massive manhunt to find them, characterizing the relationship as criminal and abusive.

The high school has fired Cummins, who was suspended before the pair disappeared. She is the subject of an Amber Alert in Tennessee. Cummins, 50, allegedly researched teen marriage before vanishing with Thomas, 15.

Elizabeth filled her page with generic love notes about soulmates and protectors. Examples:

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Three weeks ago, she wrote, “If the whole world were watching I’d still dance with you, drive highways and byways to be there with you .#myheartbelongstoone #tough #love #neverstop.”

And: “I want to be your steady hand when you are shaking, I want to lift you up when you fall and build you back up again. I am here for you and I love you, even when you are having anxiety, even in your darkest times I would never choose anyone else. You are so important to me, I will never leave you, you will always have my heart, it belongs to you. #loveforever #love #myheartbelongstoone.”

Friends have filled the page in turn with comments urging her to return. However, Thomas’ page is also filled with graphics that have a different and depressive tone – referring to herself as broken and ugly. One post says she wants to die and others refer to death and sadness. CNN reports that authorities accuse Cummins of grooming Thomas by playing on difficulties she was having at home.

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Five weeks ago she wrote, “I’m losing myself and you don’t care. Why did I ever think someone would actually want me and not leave? It’s stupid I know. I’m building up my wall and locking the door this time. I still love you and nothing will make me stop.” She also wrote, “I’m done, with everything. I’ve never welcomed death into my life but the doors are open now. Take me away into the pits of no feeling and blackness. I’ve never been this broken.”

She also wrote, “I am self destructive. I don’t need help ruining my life, I am perfectly capable of doing that by myself.”

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According to WSMV, Thomas was home schooled until her freshman year of high school. The television station quoted the local district attorney as saying her home life was a troubled one.

The television station reported that “police arrested Elizabeth’s mother, Kimberly Thomas, last year. She was charged with five counts of child abuse and neglect. According to court documents, Kimberly Thomas beat Elizabeth and four of her siblings.”

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WSMV reported that Elizabeth told investigators her mother “banged her head into the agitator of the washing machine” and “threw her down the basement stairs and locked her down there.” Kimberly Thomas “is also accused of making the children get naked in front of several other people,” the television station reported, adding that “Elizabeth is one of 10 children in a single-parent home because her father now has full custody of all of them.”

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For his own part, Cummins filled his Instagram page with similar love messages. His messages became more focused on love themes in recent weeks; before that, he posted about things like gluten-free food and holidays (with Elizabeth liking many of his posts). Here’s his profile:

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Tad Cummins’ Instagram profile page. (Instagram)

Here’s an example of some of his recent posts:

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He also posted photos of exotic locations.

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He made it clear he was not a Hillary Clinton voter and supported Trump:

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Cummins, a married father and grandfather, appears to have used social media platforms differently. On Facebook, he shared a profile with his wife, Jill, and posted photos of family, including with his wife. Example:

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Tad Cummins and his wife, Jill Cummins. (Facebook)

Jill Cummins has appeared on television to urge her husband to return Thomas.

On Twitter, Cummins posted about politics – such as watching a debate to see Donald Trump in it – religion and school activities. Examples:

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says that Cummins and Thomas could be anywhere and says the fact there have not been verified sightings could mean Cummins is keeping Thomas out of public view.

Read more about Elizabeth Thomas here:

Elizabeth Thomas: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Elizabeth Thomas, a missing teenager, is the subject of an Amber Alert after police believe she was taken by a suspended teacher, Tad Cummins.

Click here to read more

Read more about Tad Cummins here:

Tad Cummins: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Tad Cummins is a Tennessee teacher accused of taking missing teenager Elizabeth Thomas. Instagram and Twitter pages in his name talk about teaching and love.

Click here to read more

See more photos of the pair here:

PHOTOS: Tad Cummins & Elizabeth Thomas, Missing Teacher & Student

See photos of Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas, teacher and student who are on the run from Tennessee. Cummins had posted on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Jennifer & Aaron Williamson: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Jennifer Williamson is “livid” after her son Aaron was put through an extensive pat-down on March 26 at Dallas Ford Worth Airport. She posted a video on Facebook that has since gone viral, showing Aaron being put through a thorough Transportation Security Administration pat-down that lasted nearly two minutes. The pat-down took so long that Williamson’s family missed their flight.

Williamson wrote her son suffers from sensory processing disorder and had asked the TSA agents to screen her teenage son using a different technique, so he didn’t have to go through a noisy machine. Instead, the male TSA agent gave her son a pat-down. Her son was traumatized, according to her Facebook post. The video has now been viewed over 5.9 million times.

Here’s what you need to know about Williamson and her son.


1. Williamson Said They Were ‘Treated Like Dogs’ by TSA

In her original Facebook post, Williamson wrote that she and her 13-year-old son had “been through hell this morning” on Sunday, March 26. She said the extra-long screening made them miss their flight out of DFW and Aaron was “detained” for “well over an hour.”

“We were treated like dogs because I requested they attempt to screen him in other ways per TSA rules,” Williamson wrote. “He has SPD and I didn’t want my child given a pat down like this. Let me make something else crystal clear. He set off NO alarms. He physically did not alarm at all during screening, he passed through the detector just fine.”

Several hours after the screening, Aaron was still asking his mother if he did anything wrong.

“I am livid,” she wrote. “Please, share… make this viral like the other children’s videos with TSA… I wish I had taped the entire interchange because it was horrifying. We had two DFW police officers that were called and flanking him on each side. Somehow these power tripping TSA agents who are traumatizing children and doing whatever they feel like without any cause, need to be reined in.”

In an interview with CBS News, Williamson said that this all started when the TSA agents noticed that he had a laptop in his backpack. He was then told that he would have to be patted down and Williamson asked them to do so in a different way because his disorder makes him sensitive to the touch.

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2. TSA Says Aaron’s Laptop Set Off an Alarm, but Williamson Disputes This

The TSA sent a statement to NBC News, insisting that Aaron’s laptop did set off an alarm. However, Williamson said this was not true.

“TSA allows for a pat-down of a teenage passenger, and in this case, all approved procedures were followed to resolve an alarm of the passenger’s laptop,” the TSA said in a statement.

The TSA also told CBS News that Aaron was fully cooperative during the pat-down and personally approved of the procedure. The agency also said that the process took “approximately 45 minutes, which included the time it took to discuss screening procedures with the mother and to screen three carry-on items that required further inspection.”

As for the police officers present, the TSA told the Dallas Morning News that they were there to “mitigate the mother’s concerns.”

Even though the TSA says Aaron approved of the pat-down, his mother said that he was still traumatized.

“His first question to me was, ‘I don’t understand why they did this. I don’t know what I did wrong,’ and to me that was a sign of trauma for him to think that he had done anything wrong,” Williamson told CBS News.

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3. The TSA Announced a New, More Invasive Pat-down Procedure Earlier This Month

Back on March 3, Bloomberg reported that TSA agents now only have one type of physical pat-down, instead of five options. The TSA told Bloomberg that the single pat-down option is more “comprehensive” and “more rigorous.”

“I would say people who in the past would have gotten a pat-down that wasn’t involved will notice that the [new] pat-down is more involved,” TSA spokesman Bruce Anderson told Bloomberg. He added that the searches “will be more thorough and may involve an officer making more intimate contact than before.”

The new procedures have been in effect since March 2. Anderson told Bloomberg that the new procedure shouldn’t cause delays, although it will certainly slow things down for the person being patted down.

The change came after a 2015 study of its procedures after the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General criticized the agency for frequently letting guns and other weapons go undetected.

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4. Aaron Suffers From Sensory Processing Disorder, Described as a ‘Neurological Traffic Jam’

Aaron Williamson, Jessica Williamson, TSA patdown video

Aaron Williamson. (Facebook/Jennifer Williamson)

Aaron suffers from Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), which means that the sensory signals his senses send do not get detected or do not get organized into the proper response, STAR Institute explains. Neuroscientist A. Jean Ayres, PhD., describes the disorder as a “neurological ‘traffic jam’ that prevents certain parts of the brain from receiving the information needed to interpret sensory information correctly.”

According to STAR Institute, a study of children born between 1995 and 1997 in New Haven, Connecticut found that 16 percent of 7 to 11-year-olds had symptoms of the disorder. Another study, published in 2004, found that 5 percent of younger children had SPD symptoms.

The institute also notes that the disorder often happens alone, although it is possible for a child to have SPD, ADHD and other mental disorders. To see the characteristics of the disorder, click here.

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5. People With Disabilities Can Carry a TSA Disabilities Notification Card

Air travelers with disabilities can carry a TSA Disabilities Notification Card, which they can hand to a TSA agent to request an alternate form of screening.

The TSA also notes that those with disabilities do not have to remove their shoes, but the shows do have to undergo a “visual/physical inspection as well as explosives trace detection testing of the footwear.”

Williamson’s video shows that Aaron did remove his shoes for the screening.

“I believe he was patted down excessively. They went over his sensitive areas, a little more than necessary, especially given that he wasn’t wearing bulky clothing or anything like that,” Williamson said.

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