Monday, December 8, 2008

The preventable murder of Imani Jennings ~Rest In Peace~

The death of this beautiful child is wrong on so many levels, that I've had to step back a few times before writing this. I'm not even sure with which level to start!

Police say Diane Shakir, owner of All Star Day Care on Patch Street, knew Imani Jennings was being abused. They say she even took pictures of the abuse to allegedly protect herself from being charged, but never told police that the abuse was taking place.

Investigators say as a state-licensed day care owner, Shakir was required by law to report child abuse. Police say her license has now been revoked.

If convicted, Shakir could face up to a year in jail.

Imani’s mother, Cherron Patterson, stopped bringing Imani to the daycare center two weeks before the toddler’s death; investigators say Patterson told them she stopped bringing Imani there because she knew that the daycare center was aware of the abuse.
Day care owner arrested for failing to report abuse of toddler

TAKING PICTURES?!?
HOW can anyone TAKE PICTURES of multiple bruises on a child, and NOT say ANYTHING?!?
But then Shakir isn't the only one who turned her head to the abuse. Neighbors look back now, and admit that they suspected something was going on. I'm sure that Imani is looking down from above, and thanking these concerned neighbors for speaking up on her behalf!

Autopsy results showed Imani had been abused in the past.
Her mother, Cherron Patterson, is facing assault and child endangerment charges.
Investigators say Patterson's 15-year-old boyfriend is the one who killed the little girl. He is accused of second-degree murder.

~ Let me get this right ~
An 18-year-old ADULT has a live-in 15-year-old MINOR!
I'm sorry, but had that been an 18 year old male, getting a 15 year old girl pregnant...WHOA, we've got ourselves a predator for the sex offender list!!!
Perhaps Cherron Patterson should be charged with more than assult and child endangerment? (A LOT more, IMO)

Are current family laws partly to blame for the death of Imani Jennings?
Of all the coverage I've read on Imani Jennings, one thing barely mentioned is the fact that Lee, Imani's father, was fighting for custody. It seems as if this fact is added as an after-thought, yet I keep thinking that this tiny fact is a key element in the life and death of this innocent child!
"But if we are honest with ourselves, we'll admit that what too many fathers also are is missing - missing from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it.
Yes, we need more cops on the street. Yes, we need fewer guns in the hands of people who shouldn't have them. Yes, we need more money for our schools, and more outstanding teachers in the classroom, and more afterschool programs for our children. Yes, we need more jobs and more job training and more opportunity in our communities.

But we also need families to raise our children. We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception. We need them to realize that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child - it's the courage to raise one.

We need to help all the mothers out there who are raising these kids by themselves; the mothers who drop them off at school, go to work, pick up them up in the afternoon, work another shift, get dinner, make lunches, pay the bills, fix the house, and all the other things it takes both parents to do. So many of these women are doing a heroic job, but they need support. They need another parent. Their children need another parent. That's what keeps their foundation strong. It's what keeps the foundation of our country strong."
Obama's Father's Day Speech Urges Black Fathers To Be More Engaged In Raising Their Children

Yet, like many fathers (and moms) across the nation,
Lee Jennings was trying to be involved in his daughters life!
Unfortunately, while Lee was 'playing it by the books' trying to gain custody, contact with Imani was being denied.
What if visitation rights were pursued as ardently as the support money is? Would Imani Jennings still be alive?
Would Lee and his mother have noticed all the unexplainable bruises?
Was there a chance to save Imani?

Imani Jennings is NOT an islolated case of a mom and/or her new boyfriend abusing the children!

Toddler Killed by Mom’s Boyfriend with Video Game Controller
Severely tortured toddlers mom and her boyfriend arrested
Mom, boyfriend charged in BB gun attacks
The life and death of a baby boy called 'Smiley'

I wonder how thousands of non-custodial fathers, (and some moms) fighting the family court system just to have any contact with their children, felt about this Father's Day Speech?
Does Obama realize how many non-custodial parents there are who DO want to be in their children's lives?
I see the offer of help for single moms...

[[[We need to help all the mothers out there who are raising these kids by themselves; the mothers who drop them off at school, go to work, pick up them up in the afternoon, work another shift, get dinner, make lunches, pay the bills, fix the house, and all the other things it takes both parents to do. So many of these women are doing a heroic job, but they need support. They need another parent. Their children need another parent. That's what keeps their foundation strong. It's what keeps the foundation of our country strong.]]]

~SMACKDOWN~
Just who is this 'other parent' supposed to be?
The abusive new love?
The government and various welfare programs?
How many of these mothers are parenting alone by choice, because they are unwilling to allow these children to know their father?
I'm not going to start spouting numbers, because IMO, statistics are only as good as the one sided questionaire they're printed on.
I CAN, however, point to several websites of parents who are fighting every day, just to be involved in their children's lives.
(Just take a look at some of the links on my sidebar)
Some parents who aren't involved in their childrens lives, are only guilty of not having enough money to 'play the game!'
What about help for the fathers (and moms) who are absent only because a selfish, insecure, custodial parent chooses to deny any visitation?
Will WE someday get help too?


Watch more Voxant Newsroom videos on AOL Video



SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- "She was my sunshine. She my inspiration to push further," said Imani's father Lee Jennings, Jr.

Everything Lee Jennings Jr. wanted to accomplish was for his daughter Imani. His aspirations for her were cut short Friday. He and his family are still in disbelief about how she died and say they have many unanswered questions.

Source and picture:
By: Iris St. Meran
Family copes with loss of baby

2 comments:

BKStrelioff said...

This is so sad, and so preventable. The actions of the facility, in taking pictures just to protect themselves yet not reporting the abuse, are despicable. So many people had the chance, and responsibility, to watch out for this child yet failed to act appropriateley.

mammabear said...

I agree, BKStrelioff!
I'm still trying to fathom how ANYONE can listen to an innocent child scream in horror, agony, fear, and pain..sometimes for hours on end?
I don't think there's any amount of punishment here on this earth that would bring justice for Imani, or peace to those who loved her.