Three Michigan residents were arrested on charges of child abuse after they posted a video of a child being beaten on Facebook.
According to police, the mother of the child, Demitria Powell, as well as Stefon Felton and Uteas Taylor were arrested and charged with third degree child abuse, conspiracy to commit child abuse in the third degree, and third degree child abuse committed in the presence of another child.
The charges are the result of a 6-minute video the trio posted on the child’s Facebook wall in which they can be seen smacking the child across the face, as well as whipping him with a belt over 50 times.
In the video, the three adults can be heard berating the child for putting “false information” about himself up on his Facebook page.
His mother, Powell, then begins to ask him about his grades and behavior while Taylor hits the boy with a belt. At one point, she informs the crying child that she is going to put the video on Facebook, and that viewers are free to call Child Protective Services if they wish.
She then forces the child to say, repeatedly, that “it’s not cool to be a gangster.”
Before it was taken down on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, the video had been shared over 8,600 times.
According to Prosecutor David Leyton, “the law says that you can administer ‘reasonable’ physical force upon a child for disciplinary purposes. I think this was ‘unreasonable.’”
“The adults in this case clearly went beyond what is a reasonable level of ‘parental discipline,’” he continued. “What the video in this case reveals is a group of adults whose actions were a criminal assault against a child and that behavior cannot be condoned nor allowed under the law.”
Watch a report on the incident from NBC25 below.
["Image Of Child Abuse With Abusive Parent Mother And Girl Child In Corner Seen Through Belt" on Shutterstock]
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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