Family Members Arrested After 12-Year-Old Boy Seen On Instagram Live Beaten For 'Doing Gay S**t'
An Atlanta city councilman candidate said the little boy was emotionally distressed.
June 22, 2021 at 12:46 pm
Update (July 19, 2021): A family heard accosting a 12-year-old boy was arrested on Monday, according to 11Alive Atlanta.
As Blavity previously reported, footage of the incident, which shows family members pushing and teasing a boy named Tyler, circulated online after being recorded on June 17. The video shows the word “gay” sketched into Tyler’s hair as punishment for doing “gay s**t.”
“The behavior in this social media post was difficult to watch and is absolutely unacceptable,” Atlanta Police Department (APD) 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. 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.”
Brittney Monique Mills, 35, and Lorkeyla Jamia Spencer, 19, are in the Fulton County Jail on a single charge of cruelty to children. Jarrode Richards-Nwankwo, 18, was also taken into custody on charges of cruelty to children and battery-family violence.
Atlanta City Council candidate for the 9th District Devin Barrington-Ward, who is openly gay, spoke to Tyler about his experience. According to Barrington-Ward, the 12-year-old is emotionally overwhelmed from being the victim of abuse from his family members, and now being displaced 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,” Barrington-Ward said. “If you saw that and you didn’t see anything wrong with that, you’re part of the problem."
A GoFundMe spearheaded by Barrington-Ward and LGBTQ+ activist Hope Giselle is also underway to help gather clothing and other basic necessities for Tyler once he is placed with a legal guardian.
“Tyler is now free from the traumatic experience of dealing and engaging with his biological family and is in the hands of the Atlanta DFACS [Division of Family and Children Services ],” the GoFundMe page reads. “While we recognize that governmental systems can and should be helpful we also realize that in today’s social climate some of these governmental systems are not built with the safety of Black and brown Folks in mind and acknowledge that Tyler still has needs.”
Original (June 22, 2021): A video surfaced of a 12-year-old Atlanta child being abused on Instagram Live for being gay. The young boy, whose name is Tyler, has been placed in foster care as reported by the Atlanta Police Department.
In the video shared on Thursday, a woman, who identifies as Tyler’s sister, along with several other people, can be heard taunting the boy for “doing gay s**t," the Daily Dot reports.
During the video, the word “gay” can be seen etched in his hair as a punishment while his family physically and verbally abuses him. In the disturbing footage, a man is aggressively holding Tyler by the back of his neck so he won't run away while slapping him, pushing him and threatening to “beat his ass” if he keeps acting gay.