The teenage mother of the African-American toddler whose cursing on video sparked outrage across the Internet is speaking out, saying she is a good mother and that she doesn’t allow her son to curse.
“That video -- it wasn't me [who filmed it]. It was a person that came into my house and recorded it. Everybody that thinks I'm a bad mother, I'm not. I’m a good mother to my son. I teach him a lot, and he is very smart,” Ennisha Devers, 16, told Omaha CNN affiliate KETV in an exclusive interview Thursday. “All that cussing that he did, he doesn't do that. Somebody told him to do that. My son doesn't do that. I don't allow it."
Devers said the video of her child cursing and sticking up the middle finger to a camera was posted on Facebook by her brother, and she blamed him.
“He was wrong for doing i, posting the video up and getting us into a situation,” she said.
Devers claimed she wasn’t in the room where the video was recorded. The video of the toddler cursing was later posted by the Omaha police officers union’s Facebook page and generated a storm of controversy.
The union’s website said the video shows “the cycle of violence” and suggested that the child would grow up to be a criminal. The group took heat from the Omaha Police Department and the Nebraska branch of the American Civil Liberties Union for posting the video and for the racially charged discussion that resulted on the group’s Facebook page.
Meanwhile, more details have come out about the toddler and his family. According to the Omaha World-Herald, the child was wounded in a shooting outside his home three months ago. His 17-year-old father, D’Marco Pope, was killed in a shooting that appeared to be gang-related, police told the paper.
The child’s grandparents also have been in trouble with the law. According to the World-Herald, the baby’s grandmother was arrested in December on weapons charges for allegedly having five guns in her home, and his grandfather is in prison on weapons-related charges.
The toddler and three other children were taken into protective custody Thursday after police determined that they were in an unsafe environment. Nebraska Families Collaborative, a nonprofit child welfare agency, tried to help the family find another home because of the gun violence around their residence, according to the World-Herald. A caseworker with the nonprofit told the paper that the family was targeted twice in drive-by shootings, and suggested that Devers find a new home.
Devers said the video wasn’t the reason why authorities took her children into protective custody.
“They didn't come because of the video,” she told KETV. “They came because of the gang violence and everything that happened with us. They weren't worried about the video because he had a clean diaper. The house was clean. Like they said, kids cuss.” Devers will find out Monday if she and her son will be placed in the same foster home.