Three Georgia residents were busted after police reviewed a disturbing Instagram video that showed a 12-year-old boy getting slapped around after the word “gay” was shaved into his hair.
“The behavior in this social media post was difficult to watch and is absolutely unacceptable,” the Atlanta Police Department said in a 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,” the statement went on. “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.”
Police arrested 19-year-old Lorkeyla Jamia Spencer, 35-year-old Brittney Monique Mills and 18-year-old Jarrode Richards-Nwankwo for cruelty to children – with Richards-Nwankwo also slapped with a battery charge, the statement said.
The June 17 video showed a man telling the child, “you still doing gay s—t,” according to a police report.
“You think I cut this this in your head for no reason?” the man says, before slapping the child.
The kid appears to try to block his face from further hits.
“So why you say that gay ass s—t,” the man reportedly said. He then pushes the child into a chair and punches him, the report said.
When the video was posted on the Instagram page of Gaye Magazine, a black LGBTQ publication, it gained the attention of police who launched a probe. A second video was posted a day after the first with the child allegedly being pushed to say he hadn’t been abused by his brother and sister.
The boy was placed in the care of the state Division of Family and Children Services, Atlanta police said.
City Council candidate Devin Barrington-Ward told 11Alive that he spoke with the boy and his mother about the situation.
“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,” the candidate told the station. “If you saw that and you didn’t see anything wrong with that, you’re part of the problem.”