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By Josh Funk
Jan. 8, 2014 -- 10:03 PM ET
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A toddler who was cursed at and encouraged to curse in a video posted online has been placed in protective custody, Omaha police announced Wednesday.
In a news release, police said that four children, including the toddler from the video that was posted by the police union, were removed from the home.
The union has faced criticism for posting the video on its website. Union officials say they wanted to stimulate discussion about problems in the community and show what officers encounter. But critics said there were better ways to do that without subjecting a child to ridicule.
The video shows an African-American boy wearing only a diaper as he's harangued with racial slurs and obscenities from at least three adults. The child responds to the off-camera adults with profanities of his own and at one point raises his middle finger.
The Omaha Police Department says it reviewed the video with prosecutors and authorities determined no criminal activities had taken place. However, police say they worked with Child Protective Services regarding concerns for the toddler's well-being and the investigation did find safety concerns in the home that led to the removal of the four children.
The union has said it found the video on a known local gang member's Facebook page. The video has been viewed several thousand times and remains available at the union's website. The Associated Press is not linking to the video because of the offensive content.
The union said it had an obligation to share the video so the public will learn about "the terrible cycle of violence and thuggery that some young innocent children find themselves helplessly trapped in."
"The whole point of this is to give an unfiltered view of what police officers deal with every day," said Sgt. John Wells, president of the Omaha Police Officers Association.
Wells said he hopes the discussion will focus on ways to help the boy in the video and address problems in the community. At one point in the video, the adults reference a gang in northeast Omaha, which is where more than half of the city's roughly 40 homicides a year typically happen.
But Willie Hamilton, executive director of Black Men United in Omaha, said the police union didn't have to post the video to promote discussion about helping families overcome poverty.
"It's almost like the kid was abused twice: once by the people in the video and once by the police officers association," said Hamilton, whose group promotes mentoring and works to strengthen families.
Hamilton said if the police union had been concerned about this child, officers should have reached out to churches and community groups to help.
"If their overall goal was to educate people about the problems, this was an inept way to do it," he said.
Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer issued a statement Tuesday to clarify that the department wasn't involved in posting the video and doesn't have control over what the union posts.
"I strongly disagree with any postings that may cause a divide in our community or an obstacle to police community relations," Schmaderer said.
It saddens me to see any child to go through humility and see that these type of parents have no parenting skills. Children should be taught positive things and not negative things such as cursing. Positive self-esteem goes much further than low self-esteem. A young 9 year old child in Albuquerque, New Mexico lost his life because of abuse by his mother and the system failed the boy. People of all races need to take a stand when a child is abused whether it is physical, mental, or emotional.
idiots should not have kids or pets
Poor, poor little kid... I pray whatever home he's been placed in is a thousand times better for him and his siblings.
society don't realise that this child is being taught not to have any respect for adults and authority, people will look at life diffrently in 15years when this child might end up, doing something silly that will land him behind bars, where is respect. the authority is sending a message and will elp him in the long run
Exactly. It is too bad we can't have a law against known gang members having contact with children under age 18 (or even having children, for that matter), just as for pedophiles. We do not need their brand of 'education' being foisted on young minds.
Disgusting video. The parents are unfit, and I'm glad the children have been removed from the home. I don't think the action will stand for long, however. I suspect the "safety concerns" cited as the rationale behind taking the toddler and his three siblings into custody were little more than excuses. But at least the parents are on notice that people are watching. Hopefully, community resources now will be mobilized to further intervene, correct and stabilize this clearly dysfunctional family situation.Now, with regard to what Omaha PD calls the "thug cycle," let me direct you to this graphic illustration of thug culture within the police department itself.http://politicalblindspot.com/extreme-police-brutality-unconstitutional-house-raid-and-arrests-over-parking-ticket/Exactly. Yeah, one feeds the other.
When you teach your child from an early age to be a foul mouthed thug you set them up for failure in the real world. Think about it, who wants to be around them much less let their kids play with them. These kids are being taught to be bullies and anti-social all for their parents amusement, that is NOT how we should be raising our children. Strong language is a sign of a weak mind.
OMG what was his parents thinking ? What kind of people raise their kids to say these things ! It just shows how much this generation of parents are WAY OFF THEIR GAME ! Thank God he was removed from the home ! Good Luck to the little Boy !
How many kinds of stupid does a parent have to be to teach their toddlers bad words? They are teaching them so many more negative things than just a bunch of words they can laugh at.
It's doesn't matter what race it is, we got a glimpse of what goes on in thousands of households across the country. Nobody's got the exclusive hold the 'People Who Should Never Have Children' trophy .
Here's another one for you Racist guyshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weDMyFjaenw