Police: Woman Arrested After Facebook Video of Baby Smoking Goes Viral

Raleigh Police Department

A woman has been arrested on Wednesday in Raleigh, North Carolina, and her child taken into protective custody after a Facebook video of the baby smoking went viral, police said.

Authorities arrested Brianna Ashanti Lofton, 20, and charged her with two counts of felony child abuse, marijuana possession, and contributing to delinquency, Fox 46 Charlotte reported.

The ten-second video shows an adult’s hand coming from off-camera appearing to hold a cigarillo to the infant’s lips. The child makes a cooing sound before appearing to inhale and exhale a puff of smoke.

Facebook removed the initial video, but a copy of the video posted by a user urging the police to arrest the mother received 1.5 million views before it also got removed from the social networking site.

Arrest warrants state that the substance the child was smoking was marijuana.

Residents and followers of the Raleigh Police Department’s Facebook page posted the video and comments about the video beginning at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The police department posted later in the afternoon that the woman had been arrested and the child had been taken to a safe place.

“Big thanks to everyone who posted information about the smoking mother and baby,” department officials announced on their Facebook page. “Thanks to your willingness to get involved, the child is now safe and the mother is in police custody.”

The mother is being held at the Wake County Detention Center and the child is in the custody of Wake County Child Protective Services.


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