Cursing toddler: See why this ‘thug’ video is shocking the nation
“Cursing toddler” hardly describes it: A new viral video shows a young child in diapers being taunted and cursed at by adults using sexually provocative language and coaxed into using the n-word.
At one point, it appears the child is urged to declare his gang affiliation. When it appears the child is struggling to respond to the adults hurling curses around him, he shoves his middle finger at the camera’s lens. (Here is a link to the video, but note that the language is explicit and the content disturbing.)
Almost as shocking? This video has gone viral after the Omaha Police Assn. shared it online to illustrate the so-called thug cycle that officers say needs to be broken in that city.
“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,” according to a cached version of the post. (The union’s page does not appear to be working at this time, and it appears the video is no longer available at that page.)
Now the union is under fire.
Willie Hamilton, the executive director of Black Men United in Omaha, told the Los Angeles Times Thursday that he found the behavior of the adults in the video to be abusive and appalling, and said there could be no excuse for it. He said it was also inappropriate for the police union to post it, and he said that when the video was first posted the child’s face was fully visible and identifiable. (Versions of the video currently being circulated show the child’s face blurred out.)
“The Omaha Police Officers Assn. cross the line by doing that,” he said. “It was insensitive and I believe it to be racist.”
Others say the union is fracturing the already-fragile relationship between law enforcement and African Americans in that city. (The ACLU of Nebraska recently filed a federal lawsuit alleging excessive force against Omaha police.)
Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer has sought to distance himself and his officers from the video, saying he did not agree with the decision to post it, Omaha.com reported. The department has also been using its Facebook page to stress that the Police Department is separate from the union.
The disturbing video is one of the most frantically searched for items online Thursday, with viewers finding it via the search terms such as “cursing toddler” or “swearing toddler.”
The youngster in the video has reportedly been taken into protective custody along with other children in the home, according to Omaha.com.
Efforts to reach the Police Department and the union were not successful by the time this story posted.
What do you think of the video? Tweet me @renelynch
Must-read stories from the L.A. Times
Get all the day's most vital news with our Today's Headlines newsletter, sent every weekday morning.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.