Flint, MI – A difficult to watch Facebook shared video depicting child abuse prompted Michigan authorities to investigate.
A Facebook posted video, filmed in an attempt to discipline and humiliate an 11-year-old boy over his grades and poor behavior, has led to the arrest of the adults involved – including the child’s mother who was seen repeatedly slapping the boy across the face and striking him with a belt multiple times.
The City of Flint Police Department states three people have been charged with three counts each of conspiracy to commit child abuse in the third degree, child abuse in the third degree, and child abuse in the third degree committed in the presence of another child. Third-degree child abuse is a Class G felony with a maximum prison term of two years.
These felony-level charges have been levied against Demitria Powell (28), Uteas Taylor (42) and Stefon Felton (40), due to the content gleaned from a six minute video they willingly shared on Facebook.
In it, the child’s mother, godmother, and the mother’s boyfriend are seen and heard engaging with the child, warning him to avoid getting involved in gang activity.
However, their actions surpassed the line of punishment and veered into assault when Demitria began striking her child – initially across the mouth while prompting him to speak to the camera because it was going to go on Facebook.
MLive reports that during a two minute segment of the video the boy is hit more than 60 times with a belt. The 11-year-old can be heard screaming and crying as he is being whipped.
The depiction of the beating was shared more than 1,600 times on Facebook before being deleted on Sunday. Those who managed to view the video on Facebook, before it was removed, shared it on their personal pages and with local law enforcement, as well as child protective services, in hopes someone would investigate.
Once alerted, city of Flint, Michigan authorities investigated and the three adults involved were quickly taken into custody.
Due to the graphic nature of the content and the age of the child, YouTube and other social media outlets have taken measures to remove non-news related posts of the original video.
[Photo Credit: City of Flint Police Department FB]