The 16-year-old mother of the toddler appearing in a video posted by the Omaha Police Officer’s Association is now speaking out. The toddler and his 16-year-old mother are in state care, along with her 12- and 15-year-old siblings.
Investigators are currently looking into the living situation of the child. Petition documents from social services shows a pattern of issues in the household. According to a social worker, relatives allowed gang members in the household, even after previous visits from social services. The petition also showed that the toddler was one of five injured in October when someone fired shots through the front door of a home. The toddler’s grandmother was recently arrested on weapons charges.
“He had a clean diaper, the house was clean and like they said, kids curse, every kid does it,” the toddler’s mother told KETV in an exclusive interview.
“He’s a smart little boy. All that cussing that he did, he doesn’t do that,” she said. “Somebody told him to do that. My son doesn’t do that. I don’t allow it.”
She said a friend of her brother filmed the video while she was in another room.
“He was wrong for doing that .. posting the video up and getting us into this situation,” she said. “Everybody that thinks I’m a bad mother, I’m not. I’m a good mother to my son. I teach him a lot. He’s very smart.”
The police union in Omaha, Nebraska, posted the clip on its website to highlight what it called the “cycle of violence and thuggery” the community faces.
Police Chief Todd Schmaderer tried to distance his agency from the controversy Tuesday, saying that the union’s website and Facebook page are separate from those of the Omaha Police Department. He said he has little authority over the public statements of union members.
“With that background and understanding, I want to make it explicit and clear that the views expressed on the OPOA Facebook page do not necessarily reflect the official stance of the Omaha Police Department,” Schmaderer said. “I strongly disagree with any postings that may cause a divide in our community or an obstacle to police community relations.”