After four juvenile girls were charged in the beating of a young Chicago girl with special needs, the victim’s father is speaking out for the first time.
“I’m thankful that my daughter has been found and I hope her condition improves,” Mervyn Jenkins said at a press conference Thursday evening.
Jenkins’ daughter is in DCFS protective custody after the brutal incident, which was caught on video and shared widely on social media.
Jenkins told media that he’s been in contact with DCFS officials, and that there’s a court hearing about his daughter on Friday.
“At the moment, she’s in protective custody and whatnot for her own safety,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins, along with community activist Jedidiah Brown, declined to elaborate on why the girl was in protective custody.
“There is an ongoing investigation and the dead is not going to get into the particulars,” Brown said. ‘This family is going through a very tough time and we ask you all respect the privacy and the process.”
The video horrified those who saw it, and an immediate call went out for those responsible to be brought to justice. On Thursday night, it was announced that at least four girls have been arrested and are facing charges in connection with the taped assault.
“The video gave me the sense that she thought she was among friends. It broke my heart to see them turn on her and escalate into what we saw as a physical assault,” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said.