(Special thanks to Amanda for the post)
Three adults are in custody after police in Flint, MI were alerted by concerned citizens of a video circulating Facebook depicting an 11-year-old boy being beaten with a belt for getting low grades in school.
The video, which is 6 minutes long, shows the victim being forced to bend over and place his hands on the arm of a dining room chair. His godmother, Uteas Michelle Taylor (42) is then shown allegedly whipping the boy 60 times on the buttocks. At the same time the boy’s mother, Demitria Latrion Powell (28) is seen striking the child in the face with her hand. The third adult, Stefon Tirrell Felton (40) was filming. Felton is Taylor’s boyfriend.
Throughout the video the adults can be heard berating him about his behavior and warning him against getting involved in “gang” activity. It was obvious that the boy was in pain. Some viewers reported hearing the adults warn the boy that the beating would go on if he let go of the chair. It must have been excruciating, but he held on.
At one point, Powell is heard stating that the video was going on Facebook and that viewers were welcome to report her to Child Protective Services.
At the end of the video, Taylor made the boy apologize to his mother for his bad grades and then prompted him to say that “it’s not cool to be a gangster”.
The third adult, Felton, who does not show his face on the video, can be heard saying that he spent 10 years in prison and that he is a wanted criminal. He prompts the victim to state his name and age and that is where the video ends.
As part of the victim’s “punishment” the video was uploaded to the victims Facebook account by a family member. Within 24 hrs it had already been shared 8700 times.
I can’t even begin to understand what would make a mother do this to her child. When will people learn that beating kids doesn’t make them better! During the video, you can see an infant in the room during the incident. I don’t know whose child it is, but I hope it is removed from that situation forever. What these adults did was humiliating, demeaning, animalistic and evil. It is going to take this young man a long time to get over the hurt, but I hope he gets the help he needs to overcome this terrible event.
The trio was arraigned on Tuesday and charges include: third degree child abuse, conspiracy to commit child abuse and child abuse committed in the presence of a child.
Bond has been set at $7500 (Powell) and $8500 (Taylor, Felton)
Thanks to Jessica for the tip.