The video titled “The Thug Cycle” was originally posted on the Omaha Police Officers Association’s website after being discovered on Facebook. Since then, the video has gone viral and the child featured and three other children have been removed from the home.
Most reports indicate the child was removed because of the video but KETV has uncovered that unfortunately the household has a history putting the child in bad situations.
In a petition obtained by KETV NewsWatch 7, a social worker contracted with the state notes adult relatives of the toddler repeatedly allowed known gang members into their home and full access to the minor children there, even after the state paid twice to help the family relocate due to fears of gang activity.
The petition also noted that the toddler was one of five injured in October when someone fired shots through the front door of a home.
In December, the toddler’s grandmother, Kimberly Devers, was arrested on weapons charges. Police said a family gathering also included five firearms in the house where children were present.
With Devers in jail, Kierra Johnson, 19, was left to care for the toddler and three other children.
Two days before the video went viral on Facebook, authorities said Johnson went to a caseworker to report she was having trouble with a relative who originally posted the video.
The evidence was apparently enough for state caseworkers to remove the children from the home.
The supervising social worker noted Johnson has been provided family support, case management, community referrals and financial support.
The supervisor argued — due to the persistent and pervasive pattern of concerning behavior and gang-related affiliation — it is an immediate and urgent necessity to remove the children from Johnson’s care.
The toddler and his 16-year-old mother, Ennisha Devers, are in state care, along with her 12- and 15-year-old siblings. Johnson’s baby is also in protective custody.
Ennisha Devers spoke exclusively with KETV NewsWatch 7’s Dave Roberts, saying she is a good mother and is not raising another gang member.
Continue reading KETV’s report here.