Should the parents of the four-year-old boy who fell 15-feet into a gorilla exhibit in Cincinnati be charged with criminal negligence?
And it’s ridiculous that 300,000 people have signed a petition demanding that criminal charges be filed against the parents, Michelle Gregg, 32, and Deonne Dickerson, 36.
Animal rights groups blame Gregg and Dickerson, saying they are responsible for the shooting death of Harambee, a 17-year-old silverback gorilla. Gregg and Dickerson are African-American, as is their four-year-old son. Dickerson, who has a criminal record which was revealed by the media, was not even at the zoo at the time.
Race is only relevant because of all the controversy and reaction on social media. Some black folks are angry because they believe animal rights groups are more outraged over the shooting death of a gorilla than they are over the shooting deaths of unarmed Black men.
I understand that argument but I don’t understand why 300,000 people want the parents of the little boy charged with negligence.
Every parent has probably been guilty of taking their eyes off their child at one time or another and sadly, sometimes, tragic situations happen.
Meanwhile, Cincinnati police are now investigating.
“The Cincinnati Police Department is reviewing the circumstances surrounding the incident with the gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo,” police spokeswoman Tiffaney Hardy said.
“After the review, we will determine if charges need to be brought forward. If it is determined charges need to be brought forward, we would then discuss it with the Hamilton County prosecutor’s office.”
I don’t believe these parents were negligent and why should 300,000 people care if they are charged or not?
Michelle Gregg, the mother of the boy, posted this message on Facebook: “I want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers today. What started off as a wonderful day turned into a scary one.”
“For those of you that have seen the news or been on social media that was my son that fell in the gorilla exhibit at the zoo,” Gregg wrote. “God protected my child until the authorities were able to get to him.’ My son is safe and was able to walk away with a concussion and a few scrapes… no broken bones or internal injuries.”
“As a society we are quick to judge how a parent could take their eyes off of their child and if anyone knows me I keep a tight watch on my kids,” she wrote. “Accidents happen but I am thankful that the right people were in the right place today.”
Thane Maynard, the zoo’s director, said zoo staff made the right decision to shoot the gorilla, which saved the little boy’s life.
“The child was being dragged around,” Maynard said. “His head was banging on concrete. This was not a gentle thing. The child was at risk.”
Maynard said a tranquilizer would have taken too long to bring down the 420-pound gorilla who can crush a coconut with his hands.
“We are so thankful to the Lord that our child is safe. He is home and doing just fine,” Gregg wrote on Facebook. “We extend our heartfelt thanks for the quick action by the Cincinnati Zoo staff. ‘We know that this was a very difficult decision for them, and that they are grieving the loss of their gorilla.”
Gregg has experienced enough stress watching her little boy being dragged around by a huge gorilla. Imagine how horrified Gregg must have been; she has suffered enough.
Gregg and Dickerson shouldn’t be prosecuted for negligence and I wonder about this: If any of the 300,000 people who signed the petition had a child who fell into a gorilla exhibit, would they have called for saving the life of the gorilla and roll the dice on the safety of their child?
I don’t think so.
What do you think?