Swearing Nebraska toddler in ‘thug’ video taken into protective custody

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**WARNING: Even though it is censored, the video contains offensive language

OMAHA, Neb. -- A Nebraska toddler who repeated a slew of profanities in an online video has been taken into child protective custody, Omaha police said Wednesday.

While authorities found nothing criminal in the video, officials from the Omaha police's Child Victim Unit and the Nebraska Child Protective Services took the infant and three other children into custody on Wednesday, the police department said on its Facebook page.

The joint investigation found safety concerns, the statement said.

CNN learned of development through Twitter.

In the video, the diapered child is bombarded with obscenities and racial slurs by the adults around him.

The African-American toddler knocks down a chair and gives nearly as good as he gets, responding to some of the comments with an upraised middle finger and telling one of the adults at one point, "Shut up, bitch." The adults laugh and prompt him to repeat other crudities.

Just another day on the Internet -- until the police union in Omaha, Nebraska, posted the clip on its website to highlight what it called the "cycle of violence and thuggery" the community faces.

The Omaha Police Officers Association came under fire from the city's police chief, the ACLU and at least one community leader. They say the move needlessly antagonizes the city's minority communities, who make up about a quarter of Omaha's 409,000 residents.

Sgt. John Wells, the union's president, said the video was "disturbing" and "offensive."

"The focus here isn't on any particular ethnic group. The focus here is on the troubling behavior towards this child," Wells said. "This behavior is going to potentially lead this child down a path that is completely unhealthy."

On the website where the video is hosted, the union said the clip came from "a local thug's public Facebook page."

"We here at OmahaPOA.com viewed the video and we knew that despite the fact that it is sickening, heartbreaking footage, we have an obligation to share it to continue to educate the law abiding public about the terrible cycle of violence and thuggery that some young innocent children find themselves helplessly trapped in," the police union wrote in a post accompanying the video.

"Now while we didn't see anything in this video that is blatantly 'illegal,' we sure did see a lot that is flat out immoral and completely unhealthy for this little child from a healthy upbringing standpoint," it added.

Wells said one of the adults mentions a local street gang in the video.

"That is why when we talk about the culture, the criminal culture, that this is to try to break the cycle and deal with the culture of violence and the culture of gang activity," he said.

But in a city where police officers' treatment of minorities led to lawsuits, criminal charges against two officers and the firings and reassignments of several others in the past year, critics say the video is poking at raw wounds. Willie Hamilton, president of the community activist group Black Men United, said the union "crossed a line by doing this."

"For them to take a video out of context -- a 2-year-old who doesn't have the brain capacity to know what's going on -- and to say that this child, because two adults acted inappropriately, is going to end up in a life of crime is totally inappropriate," Hamilton said.

And the American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska, which filed an excessive-force suit against the Omaha Police Department on behalf of an African-American family on Monday, said the union's use of "racially charged language" was "very disconcerting."

Police Chief Todd Schmaderer tried to distance his agency from the controversy in a statement issued Tuesday, saying that the union's website and Facebook page are separate from those of the Omaha Police Department and that he has little authority over the public statements of union members.

"With that background and understanding, I want to make it explicit and clear that the views expressed on the OPOA Facebook page do not necessarily reflect the official stance of the Omaha Police Department," Schmaderer said. "I strongly disagree with any postings that may cause a divide in our community or an obstacle to police community relations."

Wells said union members have turned the video over to the department's child victim unit, which will work with child-welfare agencies to investigate the circumstances. He said the organization "didn't think we'd get this big of a reaction."

"Hopefully, the impact is, it gives law-abiding citizens what law enforcement deals with on a daily basis, and it sort of throws back the blinders that these type of problems are going on," he said. "And we can have a very frank and open discussion on how to tackle these issues and come up with solutions."

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16 comments

  • Matt

    “Now while we didn’t see anything in this video that is blatantly ‘illegal,’ we sure did see a lot that is flat out immoral”…

    Thats not good enough. Native american children got taken away and raised in schools away from their parents just so they wouldnt grow to be “immoral”.

    The child is not being abused or beatin. There are children who are that need help, this child is in no danger from his parents other then living in a ghetto. And if living in a ghetto is child abuse, the gov would have to force sterilize every citizen who lives in a ghetto to prevent child abuse.

    If there is no abuse going on, the child is fed and clothed and sheltered, you have no right to take that child.

  • Terry J

    Johnny Rebel saying that they are on welfare is just the same as being racist. This could happen with or without welfare recipients. Rich or poor, emotional/physical and mental abuse on a child is everywhere and needs to be taken care of without judgment of how much money they get.

  • shelly

    The child was subject to verbal abuse – either directed at him or because he was encouraged to repeat the words himself. Whether he understood the words or not is not the issue – a small child cannot defend himself against such behaviour and is therefore at risk. Simple. This is not a racial issue – it is a parenting issue – and parents need to shape up or risk losing their child. The union may not have taken the wisest course of action – but they did get a reaction – and that in the long run may just help kids like this who are under threat.

  • Andi

    This is just night. If people are going to have children, they should know how to raise them also. This is obviousley not the case. Its Sad really.

    Doesnt matter who is the president, if you are are white, black or brown, doesnt matter if you live in the Suburb or as its said the the ghetto, if you have money or not much…..We are all Human beings.

    You should know how to raise them if they are going to bring them in the world.

  • Jack

    We have children being abused, meth head parents & the state “Can’t just remove them” but they can over this nonsense? Cussing is not illegal

  • kay

    I think what they did was right ….someone help those babys so there stupid parents dont lead them down the wrong path.

  • dave

    Really, some of you half wits see nothing wrong with the environment this child is being raised in, I seriously question your morality.

  • itslisaw

    Some People have NO RIGHT Calling themselves Parents!! This poor child has no idea about how to act & converse. It was obviously the work of BAD Parenting. I hope he is Adopted by a Nurturing and Deserving Family. As for the so called parents..STERILIZE them!!

  • Juliet

    That poor little guy! I bet he would have a lot to say that is different from what’s shown on this video. I wish I could hug him.

  • nowshutup

    Just a bunch of Obama’s welfare kings doing what they be doing! Raising more just like em! And they complain that they have nothing and that it is a white mans fault that they are like this! bs

Comments are closed.

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