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Father says he warned of abuse against 2-year-old

Deandre Franks and Sharlynn Pinkard

Father says he warned of abuseFamily 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)

Comments () | Archives (10)

The mother and boyfriend need to go to prison for a very long time and the Hawthorne PD and Family Services officials need to be disciplined...This is tragic...so much evidence and proper notification and this was allowed to happen...

The system did not fail this child
The parents did !
If the family members were concerned , they should have taken the child and than called police when the child was safe , than gone through the proper steps to remove custody from the negligent mother !
If they "sensed " something was not right, as family they should have done something about it . BE PROACTIVE !
The "system" is not always going to save you , because it is not fail-proof.
But family should help each other .

Hmmm, he was still living with his mother and her boyfriend AFTER the county had received complaints about his treatment? Why didn't the grandmother petition to get custody? Sounds to me like the mother only wanted the boy for the check she was getting from the county each month.

Ummm to tmen, taking a child from his custodial parent is kidnapping and punishable by law. It's unfortunate, but true. If the father/grandmother were to go to court later to make the case for why they should be custodial, they would have been seriously criminalized for kidnapping. It may have been the right thing to do at the time, but the "system" would have to decide that.

This same situation is going on with my 2 nephews. My sister and her boyfriend are abusing my nephews. For 2 years now my Mom and Brother-in-law have been trying to get custody of the boys and have not been able to. They've gone to the police dept. and contacted child services on several occasions. We've been to court twice and the judge won't remove the boys. It's not as easy as being "proactive" the court system is definetly not "fail proof". The courts would rather leave the children in their mothers custody for some reason unknown. We fear the same thing will happen to my nephews that has happened to this poor 2 year old boy. You can't just go into court and petition for custody. The accused has to be caught in the act. My nephews were taken down to the police station and filed a report themselves at the age of 8 and 11. Still nothing! My heart and prayers go out to this poor family! I hope they lock the mom and boyfriend up for life!

Im so saddened by this! Why did the dad continue to return the child? After the first incident, I would not have taken my child back and the mom would of just had to call the police on me. My prayers are with the father for his lost of such a beautiful son!

It is a sad day when a child dies for no apparent reason, except for the fact that their parent did not take care of them. Father wants to blame mother, mother wants to blame her boyfriend, and grandmother wants to blame everyone. What a sad day that none of these irresponsible adults can take a look at the part that each of them played to help not take care of this child that was a blessing to them from God. May God have mercy on these irresponsible adults when they face their maker for not taking care of this child. It is much easier for them to blame the police and blame DCFS, but not put the blame where the blame belongs! The blame belongs on them for not providing for this child's safety and welfare. Grandmother and father "thought" the child was being abused in October, but didn't call the police or DCFS until February! Why the delay? Why didn't you take the child when you had him to the hospital or doctor? Why didn't you call the police and DCFS when the child was with you and you "thought" the child was being abused? Why did you let the child go back to the mother when the mother was not keeping him safe from harm's way? Come on people, it doesn't take a college degree to raise a child, it just takes common sense! And, it is sad that you lack both!

Why wasn't the mother charged for neglect?

I am so sorry for the loss of such a beautiful little boy. My heart and sympathy go out to his family.

It is a shame that common sense doesn't enter into the equasion when dealing within the legal system. Someone should have taken action when this baby's dad went to the authorities. They are so busy and or lazy that nobody made the effort to see that this little guy was safe. The system is set up to suspect everyone even the people that are trying to protect children and worried about abusing the abuser's rights. Nobody takes their responsibililties seriously. Now a baby is dead.

Goes to show you, our tax dollars hard at work when it comes to child services or the police. You can get more of a response if they replaced these so-called county workers with a circus monkey. Reminds me of that poor woman who died on the emergency room floor at MLK hospital almost two years ago, nobody did a d@mn thing!


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