Do you think the authorities failed the 5 year old boy that Starkeisha Brown abused?
In Starkeisha Brown’s small circle of South Los Angeles, it was no secret that her 5-year-old son was the victim of abuse. Friends and family said they suspected that Brown beat the boy — and a few even witnessed it. They talked among themselves about what to do, and confronted Brown on at least one occasion. But no one called authorities. County child-welfare officials didn’t find out about his cigarette burns, whip marks and other injuries until a stranger at a Metro Rail Green Line platform called a county hotline earlier this month after the boy told her: “She put my hand on top of the stove.” The boy’s plight has sparked widespread outrage, with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors ordering an investigation into why officials couldn’t do more to help him. But the case has also highlighted what experts say is significant problem: family, friends and neighbors suspecting child abuse but choosing not to report it. Such problems are particularly present in neighborhoods like t
The little boy’s body was a study in pain. He was covered in cigarette burns, including to his genitals. He couldn’t fully open his hand because it had been burned on a stove. His tooth was broken with a nerve exposed. And he had been made to sit in his own urine and feces, authorities say. As the 5-year-old remains hospitalized by kidney failure brought on from malnutrition, two county supervisors are blaming welfare and law enforcement agencies for missing earlier chances to rescue the child from what police say were months of “unbearable psychological and physical abuse.” The case came to light after a woman called a hotline June 4, saying the boy told her at a commuter train station that his mother had burned his hand on top of a stove. Summoned to a county Department of Children and Family Services office, authorities say Starkeisha Brown brought her baby sitter’s healthy 4-year-old son and daughter and tried to pass them off as her own. Brown and her girlfriend ran from the offic