Mom of Swearing Toddler in ‘Thug Video’ Speaks Out

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(CNN) — The mother of an Omaha toddler is defending her son after he unleashed a slew of obscenities in an online video that has gone viral.

In the video, the diapered boy is taunted and cursed at by adults, who coax him into using crude words.

The African-American toddler knocks down a chair and responds to some of the comments with a middle-finger salute.

“Shut up, bitch,” he says in one of the responses.

The adults chuckle, prompting him to unleash more obscenities at them.

Despite the video, he’s not an anomaly, according to his mother.

“He had a clean diaper, the house was clean and like they said, kids curse, every kid does it,” the mother told CNN affiliate KETV in an exclusive interview. CNN does not identify juveniles in such stories. The mother is 16.

“He’s a smart little boy. All that cussing that he did, he doesn’t do that,” she said. “Somebody told him to do that. My son doesn’t do that. I don’t allow it.”

She said a friend of her brother filmed the video while she was in another room.

“He was wrong for doing that … posting the video up and getting us into this situation,” she said. “Everybody that thinks I’m a bad mother, I’m not. I’m a good mother to my son. I teach him a lot. He’s very smart.”

The police union in Omaha, Nebraska, posted the clip on its website to highlight what it called the “cycle of violence and thuggery” the community faces.

The Omaha Police Officers’ Association is under fire from the city’s police chief, the ACLU and at least one community leader. They say the move needlessly antagonizes minority communities, which make up about a quarter of Omaha’s 409,000 residents.

Sgt. John Wells, the union’s president, said the video was “disturbing” and “offensive.”

“The focus here isn’t on any particular ethnic group. The focus here is on the troubling behavior toward this child,” Wells said. “This behavior is going to potentially lead this child down a path that is completely unhealthy.”

On the website where the video is posted, the union said the clip came from “a local thug’s public Facebook page.”

“We here at viewed the video and we knew that 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,” the police union wrote in a post accompanying the video.

“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,” it added.

Wells said one of the adults mentions a local street gang in the video.

“That is why when we talk about the culture, the criminal culture, that this is to try to break the cycle and deal with the culture of violence and the culture of gang activity,” he said.

Willie Hamilton, president of the community activist group Black Men United, said the union crossed a line.

“For them to take a video out of context — a 2-year-old who doesn’t have the brain capacity to know what’s going on — and to say that this child, because two adults acted inappropriately, is going to end up in a life of crime is totally inappropriate,” Hamilton said.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska, which filed an excessive force suit against the Omaha Police Department on behalf of an African-American family Monday, said the union’s use of “racially charged language” was “very disconcerting.”

“Officers should be working to build a culture where anyone feels comfortable calling law enforcement,” ACLU of Nebraska Executive Director Becki Brenner said in a prepared statement. “The manner in which the Officers Association has discussed this incident has done nothing but further erode community trust and reinforce the need for independent oversight, trainings, and other reforms.”

Police Chief Todd Schmaderer tried to distance his agency from the controversy Tuesday, saying that the union’s website and Facebook page are separate from those of the Omaha Police Department. He said he has little authority over the public statements of union members.

“With that background and understanding, I want to make it explicit and clear that the views expressed on the OPOA Facebook page do not necessarily reflect the official stance of the Omaha Police Department,” Schmaderer said. “I strongly disagree with any postings that may cause a divide in our community or an obstacle to police community relations.”

Wells said union members have turned the video over to the department’s child victim unit.

The child and his mother are in protective custody for safety reasons. Court records obtained by the affiliate show the toddler was among five injured in October when shots were fired at a home.

The boy and his mother have been relocated by the state in the past over gang activity fears, according to the affiliate.

For extended coverage on this story, click here.


  • Brian Reinhardt

    16 yr old “mom” with a 2 yr old that has been in protective custody because of gang activity and she’s back hanging with thugs but “she’s a good mom”.

    She has no idea what a good mom is.

  • Holly

    haha ” kids curse, every kid does it”…what the hell. Not every kid cusses. I have a 6year old and he has never once said a curse word. They repeat what they are around, if your using that kinda language around ur child there going to repeat it. That is pure ignorance, they should be ashamed of themselves.

  • Gary Michalosky (@garymic)

    “The boy and his mother have been relocated by the state in the past over gang activity fears, according to the affiliate.”

    “and to say that this child, because two adults acted inappropriately, is going to end up in a life of crime is totally inappropriate,”

    Can someone help me understand how this poor kid has any chance at a normal and healthy life Please?

    The kid may be 2 years old, but at that age, he has learned a vocabulary, it’s just that his fine motor skills, like in speech haven’t fully developed at that age to express himself fully. The kid is learning behavior and by the age of 5, he should have identified with and adopted a behavior which he’s been exposed to and thinks is the most accepting in his environment. To say that this child has “no brain capacity” at that age is why many do not understand child development and it’s stages.

    If kids don’t have any “Brain Capacity”, then why is it, that expecting mothers these days are actually reading books and playing classical music to them while in utero?

    People should never underestimate the mental capacity of a toddler or infant.

  • Lisa

    I was a teen mother at 15 and NEVER in a million years would I let my child cuss or tell my child to cuss or laugh at any cuss words that came from a child’s mouth! She is down right STUPID. I have 4 children now and none of them have ever used such words! My oldest is now 13!

  • Isaiah Phillips

    What I see as some good replies1 I was in the other room. 2 My brother had
    him (doing it ) or what ever the action maybe. And the 3rd.. Every child curse.. The key is!! What is soooo cute about it?? I hated the fact that some would find it cool to try it with my child.. Nor that I was a better parent.. No cause I made my marks with mine.. But I didn’t make it a habit.. Woman habe the choice to have there children around whom they want them to be around.. And right off they know the people that they are… Can say that its unfair that the backlash only came to her.. We as young parents have to be careful of the people that we choose to have around our young!!!

    • Tammy Norris

      Exactly – your child can’t choose who they are around – but YOU can. That is your job as a parent. You no longer have the right to do anything you want, you need to do what your child needs. If you can’t sign up for that. Use protection.

      • debra ellis

        it was not her telling her son to say those words it was her bother and she can’t tell her bother what to do, and YOU people don’t live whit her and her mother, YOU don’t hear her telling the the boy to say those words YOU hear and boy voice in the backround not a womens, and if YOU try telling me that kids don’t use those words then YOU better think again,because kids will say words around their friends YOU would not let them use in your house they use them when your not around I known because i have had three kids and all of them use those words when they was not around me but when they got caught they got in trouble for it

  • sillysally123547

    The mother and the ACLU can cry as much as they want. The fact is children learn what they live. This toddler is absolutely living in an inappropriate environment. No mom, all babies do not talk like that. Mine certainly didn’t! Chances are this kid will grow up and be a thug. That’s what he’s being groomed for.

  • Cathy

    This child will not grow up around these people They have run from gangs and now sh leaves the child with more thugs , while she is other room Why did she not hear what he was saying? Enjoy going o school everyday to pick him up for swearing.

    • John Smith

      Darwin was right ……. these people DE-volved from man and represent the evolutionary missing links between man and baboons. Forget the prisons …… build more zoos!

  • mary

    I believe they were right to take this child out of the home ,what else are they going to teach him while she is in the other room ?

    • Deborah

      If the so-called mother had an education the child can grow up and not be a THUG or a GANG BANGER or whatever else. Will this kid grow up to be a product of society. One will never know!!

  • Karen Robinson

    She does not have the skills to parent. Just because you can breed does not make you a good mother. Her judgement is impaired and the child should not be in her care. She is just continuing the cycle of babies having babies and the babies suffer from it.

  • kathie

    It’s scary to think this is ONE case we know about. How many other young children are being “groomed” for a thug lifestyle? Shocking.
    I’m glad it was brought to the public’s attention — maybe this will make
    people think a little about the awesome responsibility you have when you have children.

  • TruthBeTold

    Don’t ever say what your child have not done or will not do!!! If you don’t have them every second of every minute then you don’t know!!!!! And the mom didn’t have him saying these things it was other immature people! AND FOR THE RECORD IT IS NOT ILLEGAL TO CUSS, WHETHER ITS AN ADULT OR CHILDREN!! I know children who have cussed as kids and ate now NBA players and nurses so what!!! Stop being so quick to judge other people and pray for them because your lives are NOT perfect!!! The main ones passing judgement are the ones whose lives are so tore up they will be ashamed to post a video!!! Get a life a leave other people lives alone!!! If you take six months to mind your own business and six months to stop nosing in other people matters then your life wont be so miserable!! MAYBE!!! #SomePeople

    • Benito Sifuentes

      Let us apologize, “PEOPLE”.
      We apologize, @TruthBeTold. We should have referred to the child as “thug in fieri”.
      Please, take the correction and forgive us!

  • Steve Louden

    “He had a clean diaper, the house was clean and like they said, kids curse, every kid does it,”

    Huh? Kids learn what they do from their elders. What their elders do rubs off onto them. So, you just told on yourself, you disgusting piece of filth.

    It’s too bad that anyone born in the mid to late 60’s weren’t around before America lost its innocence and the leftist hippie movement took over the country. Until then, kids were taught the difference between right and wrong, and the only people who used profanity in those days were the people who lived on the wrong side of the tracks. In other words, THUGS! I’ve seen so much happen to my country all for the wrong reasons, and this story right here reveals what a hopeless society we live in. May God save the USA.

  • Benito Sifuentes

    Bravo, Police Union of Omaha, Nebraska!
    And I can not leave out a big CONGRATULATIONS for Willie Hamilton, president of the community activist group Black Men United, and Becki Brenner, of the American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska. Their brilliant labor is evident in the parts of the prepared statement given by the older child: diaper, house, and cussing. This is a grandiose and effective effort toward engrossing the list of “low information voters”. Nooo, I didn’t say that!!!

    And now, here come the unavoidable pair of “reverends”, Sharpton and Jackson … [APPLAUSE here]

  • John Smith

    Sur-prize …… sur-prize …….. more of the perverted BLACK subculture with its disgusting, vile, insidious lifestyle like an intrusion of cockroaches infesting one neighborhood after another!

  • John Smith

    Come on already ……. what does anyone believe we owe these lowlife, dirt bag, slime ball, ghetto garbage, scumbag, urban terrorist, gangsta thugs when they won’t even try to help themselves? It is what it is …. a savage is what a savage does and the savage is BLACK ….. not maybe, not almost …….. BLACK …… you know, those negroes again!

  • Dee mcfarlane

    I suppose God will forgive your inhumanity to your fellow man, John smith and his ignorant followers. In your ignorance you have no idea how you and yours helped to create this hot mess. You or your significant other probably have a govt job, knew someone who got you in a decent job, etc., etc. I respect and give a heck about your opinion as I would a healthy 40 yo who has not worked a day in their lives … Not much. Go take a bath and try to wash a little hatred off yourselves.

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