RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina mother helped her 1-year-old daughter smoke marijuana in videos of the child puffing on a cigarillo that garnered millions of views online, according to an arrest warrant.
Authorities were alerted Wednesday by concerned social media users after two videos of the girl smoking sparked outrage. One of the videos showed the hand of an adult off-screen holding the cigarillo to the girl’s lips. The child makes a cooing sound, appears to inhale and lets out a puff of smoke before turning toward the adult with an expressionless look.
The newly released warrant said the mother inflicted harm by having the child inhale marijuana smoke from a blunt more than once over a two-month period starting last December. The girl has been placed with county child protective services.
The mother, 20-year-old Brianna Ashanti Lofton, was arrested Wednesday and held on charges of child abuse, marijuana possession and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Court records show her bond was set at $100,000, but didn’t make clear if she has a lawyer.
Police say members of the public alerted them to videos and issued a thank-you in a Facebook post Wednesday.
While police said multiple Facebook users alerted them to the video, an account holder whose posting was seen by millions said he reposted the video hoping the woman would be held responsible. He included a message urging her arrest.
The user, who identified himself as Rasheed Martin of Rochester, New York, said he doesn’t know the mother and first found out about the video when a friend shared it online. He said in an interview Wednesday that once other users saw the video and alerted him to the mother’s own social media account, he posted screenshots of that, too, “so everyone could know exactly who ... did that to the poor little girl.”
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