Another child, Xzayvion Riley, allegedly has been brutally tortured and beaten to death by his parents.
This is an old and too-often-repeated story for the Baton Rouge area. Yet, as with most such instances, Xzayvion’s death was completely preventable.
Law enforcement and so-called “child protective” authorities had been contacted, a file had been opened, and abuse and neglect had been documented. The people tasked with protecting this child from his own parents knew what was going on. Yet, apparently the nightmarish brutality continued and intensified, resulting in his death. We can only imagine the fear, the dread and the misery that filled this little boy’s last hours on Earth.
Now, the blame game commences. According to newspaper articles, we are to blame, for failing to report abuse. Law enforcement and protective services point to a new law requiring that people report suspected child abuse. Failing to do so may result in the prosecution of individuals who fail to make the call.
But why report abuse? Xzayvion had well-documented injuries, including a broken leg, requiring surgery. (He fell off his bed, I guess.) On his corpse, some 60 signs of old and new abuse were noted. Sixty! “Child protective services” had “interviewed” the family and had found everything to be in order. Really? Really?
I’ve called law enforcement to report actual, real-time instances of substantial child abuse. Once I called to report that a boy was being viciously beaten by his mother. You could hear the belt’s impact, from outside of their home. A deputy arrived some time later. When I described what I had witnessed and heard, the deputy told me that “the child might have deserved it”! Really?
On another occasion, I called law enforcement and reported a little girl being beaten by her mother’s boyfriend. I could hear her screams from some distance away. To my knowledge, no one came to investigate! At least, I saw no one and I was not contacted again. The “family” has since moved.
What is this little angel enduring? Is she going to join Xzayvion in death soon?
Why report abuse, when laws aren’t adequate or adequately enforced? Why report abuse, when it can take days or weeks for an investigation to commence? Why report abuse, when not enough real concern is shown for the welfare of helpless children?
The district attorney has launched a needed task force, aimed at breaking up pockets of recurring crime. What about a task force to conscientiously attack, stop and prevent the ongoing abuse of innocent children? What about taking this crime just as seriously?
Until they do, why report abuse?