Father says he warned of abuse against 2-year-old
Family members of Deandre Green, a 2-year-old boy who was fatally beaten last week, allegedly by his mother's boyfriend, said they had warned police and Los Angeles County child welfare officials at least twice about possible abuse in the last few months of the child's life.
Deandre's father told The Times in an interview Tuesday that in October, he had taken his son to the Hawthorne Police Department to show officials bruises on the child's chest and stomach. Deandre's cousin said she had called the county Department of Children and Family Services in February to report her concerns.
The cousin, Lavetta Jones, and other family members said their calls went unreturned for weeks. At one point, a someone at the county told them the person they needed to talk to was on vacation, the family members said.
"It wasn't as urgent as it should have been," the boy's grandmother, Sharlynn Pinkard, 43, said. "We truly sensed something wasn't right."
County officials declined to comment immediately on Deandre's case.
It remains unclear exactly what steps authorities took after receiving the allegations of abuse regarding Deandre -- and whether social workers ultimately confirmed the accusations. Under law, police and social service agencies are required to notify each other of such allegations.
What is clear is that Deandre continued to live with his mother and her boyfriend. On Saturday, the boy, who was living in Long Beach at the time, was pronounced dead at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. Officials said he showed signs of repeated abuse, and Long Beach detectives have arrested his mother's boyfriend, Hector Ernest Jr., 26, on suspicion of killing the boy. He is being held without bail.Read the full story here.
--Tony Barboza in Hawthorne, Garrett Therolf in Los Angeles
Photo: Deandre Franks, 22, the boy's father, and Sharlynn Pinkard, the boy's grandmother, react in the wake of the death of Deandre Green, 2. Franks says he had gone to police with his suspicions of abuse. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)