Atlanta police arrested three people in connection to a viral video reposted on Instagram.
The video shows a child with the word “gay” shaved into his hair being slapped on the head.
The people arrested face various charges related to child cruelty and battery.
Atlanta police announced the arrests of three people in relation to a viral Instagram video that depicted a child with the word “gay” shaved into the side of his head being hit and pushed.
The video, preserved online by the Atlanta-based Black LGBTQ publication Gaye Magazine, shows a young boy with the word “gay” shaved into the side of his head. In it, a man who appears to be an adult strikes the boy on the side of the head multiple times, pushing him while making statements like “you still doing gay s—.”
Local news station 11Alive reported that the video was recorded from a June 17 Instagram Live. According to an incident report made public by the Atlanta Police Department, officers became aware of the video after it was reposted on Instagram and reported on by Gaye Magazine. Per the same incident report, there were two other videos related to the incident, including one in which the child said that he was not abused (with other voices heard in the background of the video) and another in which the child is teased for the haircut.
In a July 16 press release, the Atlanta Police Department said that it had charged 19-year-old Lorkeyla Jamia Spencer and 35-year-old Brittney Monique Mills with cruelty to children, and 18-year-old Jordan Jarrode Richards-Nwankwo with cruelty to children and family violence battery. In the release, the department said it had not disclosed the relationship of those arrested to the victim to protect the victim’s identity.
According to police, the child was put in the care of the Georgia Division of Family & Children Services (DFCS) on June 18.
Devin Barrington-Ward, a city council candidate in District 9 of Atlanta where the child’s home is reportedly located, told 11Alive that he had spoken with the boy and his mother. According to Barrington-Ward, the child was thankful for the support but also stressed about being removed from his home.
“As a Black queer man, I have experienced some of the same homophobia and some of the same abuse by the hands of people that I love as a child,” he told 11Alive. “If you saw that and you didn’t see anything wrong with that, you’re part of the problem.”
Per Fulton County Jail records, all three suspects were booked on July 16. Court records show that Richards-Nwankwo posted a $50,000 bond and was released from custody on Sunday and Spencer posted a $40,000 bond and was released from custody on Monday. It was not immediately clear whether Mills had been released. Court documents did not disclose upcoming court dates.
Richards-Nwankwo’s attorney, Gift Nwankwo, and Mills’ public defender, Eric Cho, did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment. A social media profile that appeared to belong to Spencer did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, and no attorney was listed on court documents.
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