A 12-year-old boy is in protective custody after a homophobic attack that was filmed live on social media, according to Georgia authorities.
The child was removed from his mother’s home in Atlanta and is now in the care of officials with the Georgia Division of Family & Children’s Services, the Atlanta Police Department said Monday.
Authorities stepped in after social media video showed the boy being verbally and physically ridiculed, sparking outcry. The word “gay” also appeared to be shaved into the side of his head, according to clips of the video reposted by LGBTQ outlet Gaye Magazine. (Warning: video contains strong language)
Authorities are investigating reports that “the suspect in the case was the [boy’s] 18 year old sibling,” according to an incident report obtained my McClatchy News.
“The behavior in this social media post was difficult to watch and is absolutely unacceptable,” Atlanta police said in a statement posted on Facebook. “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.”
The video surfaced last week and shows several people repeatedly taunting him for “doing gay (expletive).” At one point, a man grabs the boy by his neck and smacks him in the head.
Atlanta police said they were were made aware of the video June 17 and launched an investigation. Officers with the special victims unit were able to identify the child and the parties involved before placing boy with DFCS, the department said.
Authorities said the incident remains under investigation.