Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Did This Father Go Too Far ?

Police have arrested a father in Douglasville, Georgia on child cruelty charges after the man punished his 16-year-old son by making him carry a 23-pound landscape stone for several miles.

Charlie Mayes, a 40-year-old military veteran with no criminal record, told police he used military-style punishment because his son watched too many videos and didn't do his chores and school work. Douglasville Police charged Mayes with first-degree child cruelty.

"This was done multiple times over a three-day period, sometimes as early as 3 o'clock in the morning," said Police Sgt. Todd Garner.

Garner said the diminutive teen, who is only 4'2" tall, was also punished in between the 3-mile hikes.

"In between that time, he was at home having to move rocks and stuff from one side of the back yard to the other and then being taken right back out to the same location and dropped off and made to walk back again," Sgt. Garner added.

The boy's trek would begin on Kings Highway and end at the family's home in the Fairways subdivision.

A pizza delivery driver alerted police to the teen's punishing walks, one of which was captured in the background of a police dash cam video during an unrelated traffic stop.

Douglasville police have yet to make the video available, but say the father freely admitted that he administered the punishment.

"He did not feel that this was inappropriate at all and neither did his wife," Sgt. Garner said.

A woman who answered the door at the family's home said that they have no comment.

Meanwhile police alerted DFCS about the case and Mayes got out of jail on $3,500 bond Memorial Day.

A judge ordered the father to get family counseling.

In case you were wondering, yes, I am going to inject race into this equation. Simply because I feel that it plays a pivotal role in this particular narrative.

The storied lives of young black men in America seem to be the key theme in an unending tale of disenfranchisement. The sources of the aforementioned displacement vary according to the teller and the point of view. But there is one major component that the majority of us can agree on. There are not enough African-American men raising their children or being the patriarch's of their homes. Part of child rearing is discipline, and while I don't condone Mr. Mayes particular brand of discipline, the fact that the government is becoming increasingly intrusive disturbs me even more. What amazes me is the fact that the same government that arrested this African-American father for attempting to discipline his son, in a non violent way, will think nothing of sentencing this young man to excessive jail time in a violent correctional facility as a form of punishment should he run afoul of the law.

When Black men are not a part of their children's lives there is excessive pity for their offspring, followed by a town hall meeting. 

When Black men love their children enough to discipline them, they are arrested under the guise of child protection. It almost seems as if we are damned if we do and damned........

But I can guarantee you that there would be much less murder in Chicago if some of those young men had father's who loved them enough to discipline any way.


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