The Omaha Police Officers Association in Nebraska posted a video to their website of a young African-American child using profanity as part of, what they call, “the thug cycle.”
The diapered child is seen in a video caught on a camera phone being antagonized by two adult relatives. They immerse the child in sexual and gang discussions, call him racial slurs and teach him to swear. The police department says the video is local and the adults aren’t breaking any laws, KMTV reported.
"…despite the fact that it is sickening, heartbreaking footage, we have an obligation to share it to continue to educate the law abiding public about the terrible cycle of violence and thuggery that some young innocent children find themselves helplessly trapped in," said the post on their website.
“Now while we didn't see anything in this video that is blatantly 'illegal', we sure did see a lot that is flat out immoral and completely unhealthy for this little child from a healthy upbringing standpoint,” the website says.
The post continues on to say that the public that they are “literally watching ‘the cycle’ of violence continue right in front of your eyes. A powerful cycle that must be broken if we ever hope to get a handle on violence in Omaha. A powerful cycle that the police alone cannot stop.”
Union President John Wells, a sergeant in the Omaha Police Department, told Gawker that the term “thug” is used as a “general term on our Facebook page,” but that it could be substituted by a variety of other terms such as “abnormal, antisocial, criminal.”
Wells compared the video of the toddler to the city’s street violence, saying that “a lot of these children end up dealing with law enforcement. I'm not saying that this kid won't grow up to be a productive member of society."
The post called the video’s creator, who is reportedly the toddler’s uncle, a “local thug,” but Wells said, "I don't know that he's a gangbanger... he mentions 29th Street, which is a local Bloods gang here."
The association is different from the police department, Wells told Gawker, because they have “a lot more latitude to be a little more edgy” and that edginess is needed to force a deeper conversation on the city's crime problems.
Wells says Omaha is ethnically segregated, and many residents brush off crime by saying “it didn't happen in my part of town, that's not a problem.”
Watch a report by KMTV below: