The suspect, whose name has not been revealed, is a freshman and was charged Wednesday with two counts of felony hate crimes and one misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct.
According to a Wednesday press release by DuPage County, the juvenile took the photo of his classmate on November 14 and then uploaded it to on Craigslist with the caption, “Slave for sale (Naperville).” The caption also describes the classmate as a “Hardworking thick n***a slave.”
According to the Chicago Tribune, the victim is also 14 years old. Both the suspect and victim are believed to be on the same school wrestling team, WLS reported.
“The allegations against the juvenile in this case are beyond disturbing,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin said in the release. “Hate crimes have no place in our society and will not be tolerated in DuPage County. Anyone, regardless of age, accused of such disgraceful actions will be charged accordingly.”
“This was a despicable and extremely offensive post that is not at all reflective of the caring, welcoming community that our department serves and protects every day," Naperville Chief of Police Robert Marshall is also quoted as saying in the release.
"Every single person deserves the right to feel safe and welcome in our community, and this department will continue to strive to make that a reality by thoroughly investigating any allegations of hate crimes and bringing those found responsible to justice. I would like to express my appreciation to our school resource officer and supervisor who conducted a timely, thorough, detailed investigation.”
The listing has been removed from Craigslist, although it is unclear who took it down.
In an interview with WGN, the victim’s mom said that the suspect and the victim “used to be friends.”
“They used to be friends; they are not anymore. The moment he started teasing my son, calling him dumb, making fun of his skin color, saying ‘shut up slave’ last October. They are not friends anymore,” the mother, whose identity was also not revealed, said.
The suspect’s next court appearance is set for December 18.
Just last month in Naperville, several employees at a local Buffalo Wild Wings were fired after asking a group of mostly black people to change tables because of their skin color.