The Atlanta Police Department arrested three individuals this month following a viral social media post that showed a child being beaten and verbally abused for his alleged sexual orientation.
In the video, a man is shown grabbing a 12-year-old boy’s neck and hurling anti-LGBTQ messages at him, according to footage posted last month on Instagram by Gaye Magazine, an LGBTQ news outlet. Shortly after, the man taunts the boy again and says, “You still doing gay s—.” Moments later, the man points to the word “gay” etched into the child’s head. During the video, two women also slammed the boy with similar homophobic remarks, according to social media footage reviewed by Gay City News.
“You think this on the side of your head for no reason, is that what you think?” the man told the boy, referring to the word “gay” shaved into his scalp. “So why you just say that gay a– s—?”
On July 16, police apprehended 19-year-old Lorkeyla Jamia Spencer, Brittney Monique Mills, 35, and 18-year-old Jordan Jarrode Richards-Nwankwo in connection to the abusive incident. They were all charged with cruelty to children and are in custody at the Fulton County Jail in Georgia. Richards-Nwankwo was also arrested for battery and, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, was released after posting a $50,000 bond.
A day after the incident occurred in June, the child was placed in the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS).
In a statement, the Atlanta Police Department ripped the adults for the cruel behavior.
“The behavior in this social media post was difficult to watch and is absolutely unacceptable,” the Atlanta Police Department said in a written statement. “We are appreciative of the number of people who flagged this case with us and for those who provided information on the location where it took place. Our investigators worked hard to identify those involved and to gather the evidence needed to place each behind bars, and we are thankful for their work.”
Atlanta Police Department Spokesperson Sergeant John Chafee told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that investigators learned about the video last month. He described the footage as “difficult to watch.”
“When you see a young person being abused like this — just so unnecessary — it was difficult to watch,” Chafee told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I think for a lot of the investigators, it was the same way. It was an emotional case, and clearly, it was for the members of the community as well.”
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