A Raleigh, North Carolina, mother is behind bars after a now-viral video apparently caught her giving a marijuana joint to her infant daughter.
Brianna Ashanti Loftin, 20, was officially charged Wednesday in connection with two December 2017 Facebook videos that allegedly showed her giving her 1-year-old daughter a brown cigarette or cigar. According to the News & Observer, Raleigh residents and other users posted the video to Raleigh police’s Facebook page Wednesday morning.
“Big thanks to everyone who posted information about the smoking mother and baby. Thanks to your willingness to get involved, the child is now safe and the mother is in police custody,” the police department wrote Wednesday.
While the video was from last year, WTVD reported that someone recently reuploaded a 10-second clip to Facebook that was viewed a million time. The brief video shows someone off-screen placing a cigarillo to the little girl’s lips. She’s then heard making a cooing noise before apparently inhaling and blowing out a puff of smoke.
Arrest warrants obtained by the News & Observer stated that Loftin is charged with two felony counts of intentional child abuse-serious bodily injury, two misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile, and one misdemeanor charge of simple possession of marijuana.
Facing 17 years in prison, Loftin originally faced 30 years as prosecutors considered charging her more harshly, according to the newspaper. It’s not immediately known what prosecutors had planned to charge the Raleigh mother with or why they decided on lesser charges.
Loftin is being held in Wake County Detention Center under a $100,000 bond. She is barred from having contact with her daughter.
The child, now 16 months, is in the custody of Wake County Child Protective Services. Defense attorney Caroline Elliot informed the court that her client is “not attempting to get her child back at this point.”
[Featured Image: Brianna Ashanti Loftin/Raleigh Police Department; Facebook video screengrab