…and table legs, apparently. This story from Georgia shocks the conscience. We are from a generation in which a corrective was sometimes applied to a child with a belt. Indeed, we took our licks, and usually deserved ’em. But this kid was injured by a beating delivered by an apparently unrelated adult man — but on the incitement of his mother. Injured badly enough that his injuries were apparent to investigators several days later. (And ex-state-senator John Morse thinks we have “a sickness in our souls.”) The Augusta Chronicle:
An Augusta man has been accused of cruelty to children after striking his son with a belt and a piece of wood.
Albert Terrell Scurry, 40, of Southdale Drive, was booked into the Augusta-Richmond County jail Tuesday on a charge of cruelty to children in the first degree in connection with the incident.
The child told DFCS agents and Richmond County investigators that his mother, Shakemma Trowel, 35, accused him of stealing marijuana from her bedroom and giving it to someone else in the area. Trowel later called Scurry, who came to the mother’s residence in the 3800 block of Mike Padgett Highway with a belt and a piece of wood similar to a furniture leg.
Scurry struck the child on his back, stomach, arms, legs and buttocks before punching him in the right eye, the report said. DFCS agents photographed the child’s injuries before turning the investigation over to the sheriff’s office.
Nobody comes out of this looking too good. The kid took several days to report the abuse, so the lacerations and bruises the DFCS saw and imaged were what was left some time after the beating. Even the most enthusiastic supporter of a parent’s right to corporal punishment of a chiled must balk at the idea of bringing in a designated hitter.
While Scurry is clearly a complete waste of protoplasm, one wonders what contribution that Trowel, the abused kid’s mom, has ever made to society. (And one expects the kid himself not to fall far from the tree; it’s unfortunate, but such a toxic family early in life really stacks the deck against him).
The fundamental public policy question is this: is our viloent crime problem (a) the result of easy access to guns or (b) the result of actions taken impulsive, cruel self-centered and/or mentally ill people? You’re probably going to reach different public policy positions than someone who chose the opposite causative mechanism.