By Craig Wall, FOX 32 News reporter
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) – Shocking new internet video shows despicable attacks on Chicago’s homeless.
The disturbing videos are causing outrage among advocates for the homeless, especially in light of the fact the attackers can be heard laughing as they attack and then run off.
In one video, a homeless person asleep in a bus stop is smacked for no reason. Another video shows a man stomped while sleeping on the ground, and then hit.
A series of videos like this were too much to watch for Nonie Brennan CEO of the homeless advocacy agency All Chicago.
“We were sickened and disgusted by what we saw,” Brennan says. “We feel that what’s happening to the most vulnerable people in our community is morally reprehensible.”
The videos, posted on YouTube, under the name of John Doe during the past three months, include one posted Sunday.
In some cases, the perpetrators avoid the camera. In others, they showboat for it.
Two young men in a CTA subway station teamed up to smack a sleeping homeless person, timing their attack when they thought no one was looking and then hussled over to a waiting train to make their escape.
A third person mugs for the camera before attacking a man sleeping on a plaza.
Ed Shurna is the Executive Director of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. He says part of the problem is how society dehumanizes the homeless, which may contribute to people engaging in this type of behavior.
“It’s hard to make sense of something that’s senseless; it just doesn’t make sense,” Shurna says. “It’s disgusting to see this take place and you would hope that somebody could recognize somebody and take care of that situation so it doesn’t happen.”
Advocates say people cannot tolerate these kinds of attacks on victims so helpless and vulnerable.
“If anybody knows anyone who’s involved in this type of behavior that they call the police immediately,” Brennan says.
FOX 32 forwarded the viewer tip about the videos to Chicago police and they are now looking into these crimes. Without a complaining witness, some of them will be difficult to investigate, we’re told. But, the videos where the young men are easily identifiable is another situation.
Police say they do take crimes like this seriously, and they will work with the CTA to see if their extensive video surveillance system might help solve these crimes.