No charges yet in Flint, Facebook video involving young boy hit - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

No charges yet in Flint, Facebook video involving young boy hit with belt

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FLINT (WJRT) -

(04/07/14) - Flint Police and Genesee County prosecutors met Monday to talk about charges for two people arrested after authorities were alerted about a video posted on Facebook showing a child being struck, repeatedly, with a belt.

The more than six minute clip begins with a woman, believed to be the boy's mother, yelling at and then slapping him in the face.

"Facebook, you see that gangster crying? Please call CPS if you want to," she said. "Watch this (expletive) whooping this gangster gonna get."

The adults seem to be upset with how the child had been acting, his grades at school and also what he posted about himself on his Facebook profile. He claimed to be a working, college student. The boy said, in the video, he's 11. Police confirmed that.

A man, believed to be the one recording the incident, can be heard talking, but not seen.

Another woman appears on camera and hits the boy, dozens of times with a belt, while sitting in a chair. The detective assigned to the case said she is the boy's godmother and not biologically related to him.

When she's done, she asks, "So you want to talk about it now? Cause I can sit down and whoop all day long."

The video ends with the man, her boyfriend, according to police, signing off, off camera.

"Facebook, I would put my face on the there, but I'm a wanted criminal so don't look for this number," he said. And then, "Thank you."

The child's mother is not in custody at this time. Police continue to investigate.

Prosecutors are looking at the law and expect to have something to announce Tuesday.

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said the law allows for physical force against a child for discipline if it's reasonable. 

Leyton said he does believe the number of "strikes administered" is unreasonable, but he has to weigh all factors before determining if and what charges will be issued.

"I have to balance what's reasonable and what's unreasonable and that will ultimately determine what we do in this case," Leyton said.

We reached out to the boy's mother, on Facebook, and did not receive a response.

It's still not clear who the boy and at least one other child seen in the video are with.

Leyton said the mother may have agreed to, at least initially, have the boy stay with a neighbor. He said there was a hearing Monday, but deferred to the state's Department of Human Services for comment on that.

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