Thursday, November 13, 2008

Weep for the Children

I was in tears by the time I finished reading this article. The short life of this infant was a horror show gone bad. Everyday I care for my 22-month old daughter. I feed her. I cherish every sound and every movement she makes. I'm full of wonder as I see her grow and learn. I see unconditional love in my daughter's eyes and I am blessed.

And I mourn for this other child who probably still would have loved her aunt if given the chance. Such is the bond and the beauty of children. Such sadness.

A 24-year-old Milwaukee woman was charged today with killing her infant nephew and abusing her two-year-old niece while the children were in her foster care since June.

Officials at the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare have vowed to review the case, which one homicide investigator likened to torture and called one of the worst infant abuse deaths he has seen.

"You have broken bones that aren't being medically tended to. You have burn marks that aren't being medically tended to," said Milwaukee police Lt. Alfonso Morales. "And I'm not talking for a day or two. I'm talking for weeks or months."

Crystal P. Keith is charged with first-degree reckless homicide and physical abuse of a child causing great bodily harm and is being held on $200,000 bail at the Milwaukee County Jail. Keith is married to the brother of the children's biological father. Her husband has not been charged in the case.

According to the complaint, Keith told police who responded to her home in the 3000 block of S. 12th St. on Monday that she repeatedly slapped Christopher L. Thomas in the face for not eating. She said she choked him, hung him upside down and pressed his head on the floor. At some point, the infant's eyes rolled back into his head and he began to vomit. He stopped breathing. She then stuck the handle of a hair brush down Christopher's throat, she said, in order to revive him.

The boy died the next day at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. He suffered blunt force trauma to his head, had a broken right arm, bruises on his thighs, throat and neck, multiple scalp injuries and a lacerated tongue. Keith described to police a number of beatings she had given the child since he began crawling.
I took CPR. I don't recall that hand brush handles were part of any technique for reviving a victim.

"With the police department, medical examiner and other authorities, we are investigating this tragic incident," said Denise Revels Robinson, director of the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare.

"When we learn all of the facts surrounding this situation, we will take all necessary and appropriate action," Robinson said.
I'm sure that's comforting to this little boy.

12 comments:

  1. You don't know the half of it, my friend.

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  2. Email me, if you can.

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  3. And yet I see or hear no weeping from you for the millions of children who were slaughtered before they ever got a chance for you to look into their eyes. Why?

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  4. One reason: It's not the topic of the article (again), Tony. You just diminished the value and the life of this particular child. Shame.

    But since we're now on the topic of weeping, where are your tears for the thousands of children maimed or killed in Iraq because of the actions of the president you helped elect -- twice?

    Not fair, is it.

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  5. Shame on me because I weep for the slaughter of millions of innocents children? Shame on me because I raise my voice for those who have no voice? Shame on me because I stand up for what I believe is right? Then shamed I shall be for the rest of my days!

    You are the one who diminishes the value of every human life by supporting the violence that has been perpetrated against millions of innocent victims. More lives have been lost to abortion than in every war since the American Revolution.

    By the way Tim, I do weep for (and pray for as well even if that doesn't mean anything to you) all those innocent lives lost due to war and human violence.

    And while we are on that subject, how about the rejoicing for the thousands of men, women and children in Iraq who would have been killed under the Saddam regime had we not removed him from power? I for one am proud to have been able to remove vicious thug and replace it with an emerging democracy.

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  6. But you accuse me of having no feelings whatsoever regarding abortion. Sounds sanctimonious to me -- even condescending.

    Many years ago a woman I was involved with became pregnant. I was willing to drop school, find work, etc. However, she was intent on having an abortion. She was not prepared for a child, nor wanted one at that time of her life. I was opposed, however, in the end I supported her through what was a difficult choice.

    It was difficult for me, too. However, you and I do not have the right to dictate how another should proceed with their life.

    Oh, more people have died of lung cancer. Let's protest the tobacco industry together. Funny thing, our roles would be reversed here I think. Who would be for choice?

    As far as the Saddam regime -- you don't know that. Who can say that Iraq will not descend into a far more murderous dictatorship, and that it will have been because of our illegal and ill-advised intervention?

    And what about North Korea, Darfur, Russia, Indonesia, etc? Are you ready to send our troops there, too?

    I'm not ready to play god. Are you?

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  7. Tim - you write "However, you and I do not have the right to dictate how another should proceed with their life". But you say that we have the right to kill a life if it is inconvenient or we are not prepared for it? Sure sounds like you want to play god to me, for only God has the right to determine who lives and who dies.

    And, no, I don't have a crystal ball on Iraq. Nor did I did say that everything will be rosey there. What I do know for sure is that the people of Iraq are better off with the current government (shaky as it is) than with Saddam. Could things break down and the region fall into chaos? It is very possible. But, where would we be now if George Washington and the rest of the American Revolutionaries decided that we couldn't fight against injustice and tyranny for fear that things might end up worse, or that innocent lives might be lost? They fought (and many died) for what they believed was right.

    You also asked "And what about North Korea, Darfur, Russia, Indonesia, etc? Are you ready to send our troops there, too?" While I am not ready to send troops there (as if it is my decision in the first place), I know that we must continue to fight against evil wherever we find it, in whatever way we can, because if good people stand by and do nothing, evil will triumph.

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  8. My gosh, who knew that American foreign policy for the past 200 years was so wrong. Convenient justification for Bush's errors.

    But you say that we have the right to kill a life if it is inconvenient or we are not prepared for it?

    I never said that. Her decision. That's choice. Last I knew, I can't get pregnant.

    What I do know for sure is that the people of Iraq are better off with the current government (shaky as it is) than with Saddam.

    First of all, no, you don't know that unless you live in Iraq. Secondly, it's still no justification for invasion.

    ...where would we be now if George Washington and the rest of the American Revolutionaries decided that we couldn't fight against injustice and tyranny for fear that things might end up worse, or that innocent lives might be lost?

    For that to be a legitimate comparison, Iraq's people would have had to decide to throw off the yolk off a colonial power (btw: Torys were conservatives).

    I'm done with this thread. I feel that the child who was the focal point of this post is getting no respect from both of us.

    I'll send you an invite, Tony. Join or not if you want. If you do, we can figure out the other stuff later.

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  9. I found this absolutely terrible that anyone could do this to children. While I knew that child abuse/homicide happens, I've never seen it portrayed in such a brutal and terrible way, and so close to my home. My heart and prayers go out to those children and any others suffering similarly. I believe the foster care system needs an overhaul, but as I don't know much about the subject that is all I can suggest.

    As for the mini-abortion argument going on...i agree that it's not right to bring it up here, this is a different circumstance and to use it to levy the argument either for or against abortion is disrespectful. I am personally pro-life, and if you would like to discuss the subject outside of this commentary read my most recent post at http://unfinishedarticles.blogspot.com/

    Again, my heart and prayers for those children.

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  10. Thanks, Ben. Wish you were coming tomorrow. We might make it on Thanksgiving.

    Tony, this is my nephew, Ben. Sharp young man. Check his site out.

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  11. I was just trying to point out the (obvious) disconnect between supporting and defending policies which kill children, then weep and morn when a child is killed.

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  12. You failed in this case, Tony. It was in bad taste.

    Besides, abortion is legal. Last I saw, torture of children was not.

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