RALEIGH, North Carolina: A 20-year-old woman has been arrested after two videos of her offering a small cigar to her child went viral, prompting outrage on social media.
In a statement on Wednesday (Mar 21), the Raleigh Police Department said that Brianna Ashanti Lofton was arrested after members of the public posted information “about the smoking mother and baby”.
Raleigh news agency News & Observer said the videos showed an adult’s hand holding “a brown cigar or cigarette” to the child’s mouth. Both videos then show the child exhaling smoke.
News & Observer cited Raleigh police warrants that said Lofton was accused of "causing, encouraging and aiding a one-year-old child to smoke a marijuana blunt on Dec 1, 2017".
The Raleigh Police Department said Lofton was charged with child abuse, contributing to delinquency and possession of marijuana. Her child is now with child protective services.
The authorities said Raleigh residents and others began posting the video and comments on the department’s Facebook page from 9.30am (9.30pm Singapore time).
Raleigh Police Department Lieutenant Jason Hodge said the authorities “appreciate the public’s help in this matter” and that they “welcome and encourage any assistance the public is willing to give”.