A video of a baby smoking a small cigar outraged social media users Wednesday, who alerted North Carolina authorities and helped them identify the 20-year-old mother.
Brianna Ashanti Lofton is charged with two counts of felony child abuse and possession of marijuana, Raleigh police said in a news release. It is unclear where the video originated, when it was posted and whether the substance the child was smoking was marijuana.
A police warrant obtained by the News & Observer, however, accused Lofton of “causing, encouraging and aiding a one-year-old child to smoke a marijuana blunt” on Dec. 1, 2017. Police could not be immediately reached for comment.
Police said the child is safe and has been placed with Wake County Child Protective Services. Lofton is being held at the Wake County Detention Center.
“Big thanks to everyone who posted information about the smoking mother and baby,” police told their Facebook followers in a post Wednesday afternoon. Dozens of their followers began posting the video and comments about it on the Raleigh Police Department’s Facebook page just after 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Some followers shared screenshots of the video and the link to the mother’s Facebook page on the department’s page, while others posted comments such as “Can you make an arrest on the girl that is making her BABY smoke weed?
Something needs to be done about that.”
“Thanks to your willingness to get involved, the child is now safe and the mother is in police custody,” police said Wednesday afternoon.