Mon | Oct 26, 2020

State takes charge of 3-y-o smoking kid, siblings

Published:Friday | September 25, 2020 | 12:15 AM
The three-year-old boy who was smoking a cigarette in a video that went viral on Wednesday. The child and three siblings have been placed in state care.
The three-year-old boy who was smoking a cigarette in a video that went viral on Wednesday. The child and three siblings have been placed in state care.

The court has ordered that four young siblings be admitted into state care after one of them, a three-year-old boy, was videoed smoking a cigarette and purportedly drinking alcohol on the egging of adults.

The police located the mother and children, who are eight years old and younger, in Red Ground, Old Harbour, on Thursday morning.

Children’s Advocate Diahann Gordon Harrison referred to the ruling as a “temporary order until the court has more information”.

Gordon Harrison said in an interview with The Gleaner Thursday afternoon that investigations were under way to conclude whether the boy had been drinking alcohol.

“It is an ongoing matter in terms of doing the necessary checks and interviews and so on. We have promising information, but I can’t give details just now,” the children’s advocate said.

Gordon Harrison said that health checks would be conducted on the children as part of a routine response.

The police had issued an appeal for information on the child’s and parents’ whereabouts after the viral video sparked public outrage.

In the viral video, which is under 50 seconds in length, the three-year-old boy is seen with a cigarette in his mouth. The boy coughs as adults urge him to smoke as part of celebrations for his birthday.

The child also drinks a beverage on the instruction of adults.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com