How Social Media Busted Alleged Child Abuser Katrina Kennedy Before Cops Did
A Facebook photo of Katrina Kennedy. Additional images, a video and more below.
An arrest warrant for Katrina Kennedy suggests that social media acted more quickly — and more aggressively — than law enforcement did when it came to holding the alleged child abuser responsible for her actions.
The document, on view below in its entirety, reveals that officers for the community of Lochbuie, located in Weld County, had possession of a video showing Kennedy tormenting, and possibly bashing, her toddler son.
But an arrest wasn't made until the video became a shocking viral sensation on social media.
We're not including the video here because the child is easily identifiable in the footage, which runs more than sixteen minutes in length.
An image of Katrina Kennedy's son with his identity disguised to protect his privacy.
Neither are we using his name.
However, finding this media and information is a snap. The clip and photos of the victim are all over Facebook and YouTube.
The video is even linked in a Change.org petition demanding justice for the boy. At this writing, the petition, which was started by a woman in California (evidence of how widely the story has traveled), has collected more than 44,000 signatures toward a goal of 50,000.
As for Kennedy, her Facebook page, which was listed under the nickname Trina Marie and ID'd her as the child's "mommy," has been deleted.
But before it vanished, a slew of Kennedy photos were snagged and circulated, including this one.
The warrant reveals that a Lochbuie police officer was first shown the video around 5 p.m. on Monday, May 9, after being contacted by a man who said he got a copy of it from a friend.
The reporting person said he knew the abusive woman was named Katrina Kennedy (the document refers to her in the arrestee information field as Katrina Flores Kennedy) but didn't know where she lived.
After viewing the video of "a female yelling at a small child," however, the officer writes that "I recognized the voice (from previous contacts)" — and indeed, 7News maintains that prior reports of abuse had been leveled against Kennedy. She is quoted in the affidavit as telling an officer that "social services have been involved in the past."
The station also confirms that a second witness supplied police with photos of the child showing bruises, as in this image:
The video revolves around an outburst by Kennedy over a lost phone charger whose disappearance she blames on the child.
In response, she screams a series of invectives, including the following quotes:
"You fucking bitch."
"You're going to die."
"Where's my fucking charger? Find my charger."
"I'm going to kill you."
"You're a fucking piece of shit."
In addition, Kennedy is seen at one point walking toward a playpen in which the child has been placed. She then grabs a booster chair, raises it over her head and slams it either on or near the boy — an action followed by screaming and crying from the toddler.
Nonetheless, Kennedy wasn't immediately arrested, and neither was the child removed from the home — at least not until the video popped up on the aforementioned social-media platforms. Oodles of outraged posts followed, including this one:
I wanna beat her ass! I could not even fathom a mother of all people doing that to her own child. Oh my. I'm praying for that child. This is so horrid I couldn't even watch half of it. This poor child. He needs to get taken away.
At last, he has been — and he's said to be safe in protective custody right now.
For her part, Kennedy was re-interviewed late on Wednesday, May 18, and arrested about an hour later. Formal charges haven't been pressed, but the Weld County District Attorney's Office has announced that it "intends to charge the defendant" with three accusations based on the video: child abuse — knowingly/recklessly causing bodily injury; child abuse — permitting a child to be placed in a situation posing a threat of injury; and attempted child abuse — knowingly/recklessly causing bodily injury.
All of the counts are misdemeanors.
When news of the arrest broke, the outpouring of relief and anger on Facebook and beyond was passionate. Expect more examples of this emotion as word spreads about the original delay in dealing with Kennedy.
Below, see Kennedy's booking photo, a 7News item about the incident (it contains non-identifying excerpts from the video) and the arrest affidavit.
Weld County District Attorney's Office
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