A new video on YouTube showing a 17-year-old being brutally kicked and punched in Chicago’s Armour Square has resulted in the arrest of seven teens, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
“Today our young people are experiencing this idea that unless their behavior is shared with the rest of the group, it doesn't really count as something that happened,” Glenn Sparks, a communications professor at Purdue University who studies the effects of mass media on people, told the Chicago Tribune.
Alan Krok, a veteran Chicago police detective, told the Tribune that it’s all about bragging rights. “It's kind of like an empowerment — ‘Here's proof that we're tough guys,’ ” he said of the video.
In the video, the teens beat up an Asian teenager while calling him a racial epithet at least 25 times. Police, however, say the crime was not racially motivated. The attackers stole the victim’s shoes, wallet and $180 in cash. He was treated for bruises and abrasions.
As the Tribune points out, this isn’t the first time a teen or his friends have posted a video of a beating they inflicted online — and it often leads to their arrest.
Last fall, the friends of Chicago teen Scotty Strahan posted a video of him punching a 56-year-old homeless man at a bus stop. Investigators used the video to find the homeless man, who filed a complaint, leading Strahan to turn himself in.
In December, another homeless man in New Jersey was shown being punched and kicked by 20-year-old Taylor Giresi. With the help of the video, police arrested Giresi and one other person. Giresi soon admitted to recording the attacks on a cellphone.
“We say: ‘What's going on here? Why would you want to put that on the Internet?’ Sparks said. “But for some ... their first instinct is that everything is potentially shareable.”
Watch the graphic video of the beating here. The video also contains offensive language.
Read about a different kind of YouTube confessional here.