Saturday 24 October, 2020

Probe launched into video of smoking, drinking toddler

The police and the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) have caught wind of a social media video showing an infant smoking and later drinking what appeared to be an alcoholic substance in the presence of adults.

It is not clear when the video was made, but a screen recording of the actual video surfaced on several social media platforms on Monday, irking several users.

The video was shared on Twitter by a social media user who also tagged the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) in an effort to ensure that law enforcers would see the video.

The police, through their Twitter account, responded by thanking the disk jockey and media personality for bringing the video to their attention, and indicated that several breaches of the Child Care and Protection Act were detected from the video.

The JCF tweeted: "Hi, thanks for bringing this to our attention. We’ve detected several breaches of the Child Care and Protection Act in this video. Can you provide us, via DM, with any additional information, so we can identify the child?"

The CPFSA, through its Facebook page, also appealed to the public on Monday night, for information that could lead to the whereabouts of the child.

"We are seeking the public's assistance to locate this child who was featured in a video on social media today," the post stated.

"Anyone with information is being asked to DM us, call 888-PROTECT (776-8328), WhatsApp 876-878-2882, or contact @JamaicaConstabularyForce

“#ProtekWiPickneyDem," it added.

In the 48-second video, the male toddler can be seen with what appeared to be a cigarette in his mouth.

An adult male voice and also a female can be heard urging the child to smoke the cigarette.

"Puff it. A di dawg birthday enuh man. A high di dawg high today. Puff it Minty," the man said as the child coughs while following the instruction.

A female then instructs the minor to hold and sip an alcoholic drink in a glass bottle called 'Ice'.

"See 'Ice' yah. Hold now... Take a sip," the woman said, amid much laughter from other adults who were present.

"Trauma today. Puff it (the cigarette) out again Minty. Take two puff out ah it again," the man further instructed.

The child follows the cruel instruction and puffs out the smoke amid coughing. He then appears to spit out the substance he had earlier drank, prior to the abrupt end of the video.

Several Twitter users have been outraged by the video, and made their strident opinions known on what appeared to be breaches of the Child Care and Protection Act.

A woman tweeted: "Child never had a chance to be innocent. Fast forward 10 to 15 yrs (years), how likely is it that he will be an honourable, upstanding citizen of this world?

"They have increased his risk of ETOH, drug abuse, violence, mental instability etc @JamaicaConstab give him a chance, find dem!!"

A male opined: "This is child abuse @JamaicaConstab find this kid n lock up the parents or guardian!!! Child neglect!!!"

Another woman shared on Twitter: "He (the child) must be taken away and all the people around him locked up and charged. I'm so shocked; not everyone having children is a mother or father."

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