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Childrearing

Mom Arrested For Leaving Her Kid At The Park Didn’t Deserve This Huge Invasion Of Privacy

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Mom Arrested For Leaving Her Kid At The Park Didn t Deserve This Huge Invasion Of Privacy Screen Shot 2014 08 13 at 2 54 35 PM 280x165 pngIn an even more infuriating turn of events than what has already transpired in the case of Debra Harrell, the North Augusta, SC mother who was arrested for letting her 9-year-old daughter play in a park unsupervised, her local news station, WJBF ABC, aired her arrest interview and posted the entire interview on their Facebook page. This is terrible, because the interview contained all her personal information, including her home address, phone number and social security number.

Releasing a home address and phone number to the general public is pretty bad, but a social security number is a whole other level of invasion. It’s amazing to me that the police department didn’t redact any of this information before they released this video to the press. Even more interesting to me is, a news station, who literally edits tape all day and certainly had the capabilities to censor this very private information – decided not to.

News stations are constantly having to check and re-check their work to be absolutely sure they are not violating people. They handle breaking news and sensitive information all the time. This was such a huge oversight, and speaks volumes to how poor people are treated in this country. They never would have let this slip if they had any respect for this woman at all. Here is the interview, obviously with her personal information not included:

WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Enter different officers, playing some bad cop routine as if they are dealing with a hardened criminal. They aren’t. They are dealing with a financially strapped mother who made the conscious decision that leaving her daughter to play at a park where she thought friends were joining her was safer than leaving her at their apartment that had been burglarized. The officers are infuriatingly condescending. Here is one of the interactions:

Sergeant asked, “You’re her mother right?”

Harrell answered, “Yes sir.”

Sergeant asked, “You understand that you’re in charge of that child’s well-being?”

Harrell replied, “Yes sir.”

Sergeant said, “That’s not other people’s job to do so.”

Harrell said, “Yes sir.”

The unedited video was up on their Facebook page for one hour before the news station finally took it down. Hasn’t this woman been through enough?

(photo: WJBF-ABC)

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