There are ways for parents to keep their kids safe and out of trouble, but beating the crap out of them, videotaping it, and then posting it to Facebook is not one of them. A mom in Flint, Michigan was worried about her 11-year-old son joining a gang, so she allegedly decided to show him what it was like by whipping him on the butt with a belt and smacking his face.
Demitria Latrion Powell, 28, was arraigned for third-degree child abuse on Tuesday, along with two others that participated in the beating, Uteas Michelle Taylor, 42, and Stefon Tirrell Felton, 40. Cops say that several other people were in the room, including a baby. The boy and the infant are now in protective custody.
The disturbing six-minute video clip was uploaded to the boy's Facebook page and shared over a thousand times before officials took it down. In it, he is beaten by the two women, who warn him not to be a "thug" and to stay away from gangs. He clutches onto a chair as Powell looks to the camera and says, "Watch this ass whipping this gangster is going to get."
In what universe is this OK? These adults obviously think it's not only acceptable parental behavior, but commendable -- why else would they post it on Facebook?
This is far beyond an acceptable level of physical discipline. We can debate the merits of spanking or not spanking all day long, but this isn't spanking. The kid got whipped with a belt more than 50 times. His mother savagely mocked him. He was slapped in the face. How that's supposed to keep him out of a gang is beyond me. Seems like it might just make him long for a place where he belongs.
As sick as the video posting was, I'm glad it went up. Several people contacted the Flint police after viewing it, which led to the arrests. If they hadn't posted it, who knows what else those kids might have had to endure?
Why do you think they posted the video on Facebook?
Image via Johan Larsson/Flickr