Chicago activists and neighbors of a teenage girl whose sexual assault was broadcast on Facebook Live are urging the community to identify the suspects.
“Turn them in. It may not happen in your house today, but it doesn’t mean it won’t happen,” said Catrina Singletary, a resident of Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood, in a news conference Friday.
Chicago police have made no arrests in the sexual assault. Police are looking for as many as six people — some possibly juveniles — who are shown in the video, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.
“I’m pleading to the parents, I’m pleading to those who know who this is,” Singletary said.
How the case came to light
The teen was reported missing Sunday afternoon after she didn’t return from a store in Chicago’s Lawndale neighborhood.
It was between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning when her mother saw the live broadcast.
On Monday, her mother approached Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson outside the 10th district headquarters and brought to his attention the live stream.
The teen’s mother told him her daughter had been missing for 24 hours and she showed Johnson screengrabs of the live broadcast, police said.
No one called police
“There were so many people that saw it and didn’t pick up the phone to dial 911,” Johnson told CNN affiliate WBBM-TV.
At least 40 people were watching the live stream but none of them reported it, police said.
The teen was treated at a hospital but now is home with her family.
Several people have been interviewed this week but witnesses are reluctant to come forward, police spokesman Jose Estrada told CNN.
Identifying the suspects has been a challenge for investigators. The video shows mostly closeups of body parts, Estrada said.
For Tio Hardinman, president of Violence Interrupters, a Chicago anti-violence group, people in the neighborhood have a key role in the case.
“The young men in the community, some of the older brothers too, need to talk to them guys and let them know, this is unacceptable,” Hardinman said.
This is not the first time Chicago police have investigated an incident streamed online.
Four people were charged in January after an attack on a special needs teen was streamed on Facebook Live.