Three people in Atlanta have been arrested on child abuse charges related to a disturbing video that surfaced last month showing a 12-year-old boy as he is verbally and physically abused.
The video was reportedly recorded from Instagram Live on June 17 and shows the word “GAY” cut into the side of his head with clippers, allegedly as a punishment, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
Brittney Monique Mills, 35; and Lorkeyla Jamia Spencer, 19; and Jarrode Richards-Nwankwo, 18, have been charged with cruelty to children. Richards-Nwankwo faces an additional charge of battery-family violence, WXIA said.
“The behavior in this social media post was difficult to watch and is absolutely unacceptable. We are appreciative of the number of people who flagged this case with us and for those who provided information on the location where it took place,” the Atlanta Police Department said in a statement. “Our investigators worked hard to identify those involved and to gather the evidence needed to place each behind bars and we are thankful for their work.”
CrimeOnline previously reported that the boy had been removed from the home and placed with the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services.
Devin Barrington-Ward, an openly gay man running for city council in the district where the family lives, told the television station that he had reached out to the family and spoke with the boy and his mother last month.
“As a Black queer man, I have experienced some of the same homophobia and some of the same abuse by the hands of people that I love as a child,” he said. ““If you saw that and you didn’t see anything wrong with that, you’re part of the problem.”
Barrington-Ward said that he spoke with the mother “about what had took place, about some of the challenges that she’s had as a single mother of eight and about some of the challenges raising a young Black queer child in poverty.”
The boy, he said, was stressed both from what happened to him and at the idea of being taken from his family.
“He expressed appreciation for the support but also made it clear that he wasn’t happy with what happened to him,” he said.
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[Featured image: Instagram video screengrab]